Pirated software might appear to be the easy way out of paying for the original deal; however, there are numerous risks associated with them as well. Consulting with the experts, we put together all the risks you should know about pirated software.
I come from a country where a former president thanked Bill Gates during his brief visit for the pirated version of Windows. The argument was that using pirated software gave our IT experts the chance to become familiar with the most used software on the planet. That was a long time ago, and things changed for the better significantly.
What hasn't changed is the fact pirated software involves risks that can no longer be ignored. Malware can spread easily with cracked/nulled software, so can ransomware and any threat that can now put you in a position to pay to regain access to your data or just gains access to your financial information and sensitive data.
Software crackers are no longer in the game just for bragging rights. With so much financial information moving online, hackers are working hard to gain access, and pirated software is one of the easiest ways to compromise your computer.
Ionut-Alexandru Popa, Part Tech Blogger, Affiliate Marketer, SEO Manager, and Web Developer, BinaryFork
Firstly, pirated software programs very often contain malware, even if it doesn't look like it. The crack developers often note that their crack might trigger an antivirus alert and that those alerts are just false positives, but how can you be sure?
And if it isn't the software itself, it could be anything else you accidentally downloaded along the way. Websites that host pirated software often contain a number of ads and fake download buttons, all of which run the risk of you downloading a malicious file.
Malware like this can slow down your PC, create backdoors for hackers to access your PC remotely, delete or lock your files behind a ransom, and even steal personal information. And you're at a much greater risk of getting them if you pirate software.
Another way software piracy poses a threat is that you miss out on the updates pushed by the developers of the software, which in turn means you miss out on any security vulnerability patches made by the developer. New vulnerabilities are discovered every day, so staying up to date on patching them is crucial for security. If you fall behind on the security patches, that opens you up to a number of potential attacks through the vulnerabilities that remain unpatched.
Patrick Sinclair, Web Developer, Tech Blogger, and Founder of All Home Robotics
Because you have unlicensed and pirated software on your devices, you won't be able to keep up with software updates. When new software is introduced, it becomes vulnerable to flaws and other malware threats over time. Because crackers spend their time attempting to traverse and enter the system, this is the case.
Those that use legitimate software, on the other hand, can put this fear to the back of their thoughts because software makers are constantly updating their products to combat the problem and keep crackers at bay. As a result of illegitimate individuals cracking a pirate software after specific updates, the software fails to download the genuine updates for the actual software provider, leaving your devices and networks vulnerable.
Gerrid Smith, CMO Joy Organics
Downloading illegal software is ill-advised for many reasons. Most people will tell you that you put yourself at risk for viruses and malware, which is true. But here is something else you might not consider. If you pirate software, you won't have access to any sort of customer support. It's important to note that pirated versions of the software are disassembled and recreated by the pirate, meaning there will likely be performance bugs. When you have the real version of the software, not only will it be more likely to perform properly, but you will gain access to expert support should you have any issues.
Scott Winstead is the founder of MyElearningWorld.com, where he covers eLearning tools and software, home studio equipment, and more.
Pirating software is defined as illegally downloading or transferring software without the owner's permission. But it is not without its risks.
Pirating may seem fun for hackers or tech enthusiasts, but it is illegal, and you can get charged with hefty fines or even get jailed.
Pirating can also lead to your bank info or personal info getting stolen. You might also not get good-quality software. Pirating also puts you at the risk of ad fraud.
Since you downloaded the software illegally, you might not be able to update the software when required, and it might cost you some valuable working time.
David Attard, Digital Consultant, and Web Designer Collectiveray