It’s no big secret that people pirate software all the time. Whether it is games, programs, or even operating systems like Windows, people find it a lot easier to pirate software than to buy it, and the biggest reason for that is because it is simply a lot cheaper. For example, some programs cost hundreds or even thousands of dollars to purchase.
However, is pirated software actually free and is there a cost to pay for using bootleg versions of any program or a game? It might surprise you, but there are actually several reasons why you shouldn’t use pirated versions of any software.
Malware and Spyware
Malware and spyware are the biggest threats to anyone who uses pirated software. They are malicious programs that can infect your computer and can be used to access your private information, such as your passwords and financial information, for example. Hackers can then use that information to steal your accounts or gain access to your bank accounts and cost you a lot of money.
What’s more, malware can be used to hold your data for ransom, identity theft, or to control your device or your webcam. For example, a hacker can encrypt your important files and demand a payment before they release the files back to you.
Some malware that comes with pirated versions of Windows can even change the update and firewall settings automatically, allowing even more malware to infect your computer. A shocking study revealed that more than 30% of downloaded pirated software comes with malware or trojans.
Not Working Properly
In order to pirate software, people have to “crack” its code and make changes to the software’s system. However, sometimes modifying the code of software can lead to unintended complications, which can potentially have a negative effect on the output of the software.
Let’s say that you are using AutoCAD that is most often used in architecture to design houses, buildings, bridges, and it can even be used to build computer chips. Needless to say, to anyone that uses AutoCAD, precision is of utmost importance.
If you work for or own a company that’s in charge of major deals and designs important stuff like that, having a pirated software that has its calculations compromised may end up being a recipe for a disaster.
Legal Troubles and No Updates
Before the company that developed the software that you are using updates the program, they will verify its license. Naturally, if you are using the pirated version, that won’t happen. What’s more, your program might stop working before you purchase a license.
By using pirated or unlicensed software, you or your company can get in legal troubles. After the software developer verifies that you are not using the licensed program, they might decide to press charges, causing you to pay for the original software and punitive damages, which will end up costing a lot more than the software in the first place.