Why online piracy is unsafe
The lure of free movies and TV shows can result in users falling prey to scammers and hackers.
Alexander Pan avatar
Written by Alexander Pan
Updated over a week ago

Online or digital piracy refers to the illegal copying and/or distribution of copyrighted material over the internet. When someone talks about downloading a song/movie/TV show for free on the internet, they're basically referring to (and committing) online piracy.

While the prospect of downloading any song/movie/TV show on the internet for free is a tantalising one for many people, it is also a massive security risk as scammers and cybercriminals can wreak havoc on those who don't want to pay for content. As this is a safety concern for many, we're going to dive into why that is and how to stay safe.

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Why is online piracy a security concern?

There are two areas of concern when it comes to online piracy: The legality of pirated content and cybersecurity risks.

While online piracy of copyrighted material is widely practised, it is also illegal in several countries as it infringes on copyright law. Depending on which country it is, penalties can range from hefty fines to possible jail time.

As for cybersecurity concerns, there's a lot of harm that can happen such as:

  • Age-inappropriate content - Due to the easy accessibility and lack of parental controls with pirated content, teenagers, children and young people are vulnerable to being exposed to age-inappropriate content.

  • Malware or virus infection - Cybercriminals can use pirated content to hide malicious software, malware and viruses, which will get installed onto a user's device when the pirated content is downloaded. This has the potential to cause massive damage to the device and render the user's personal data vulnerable to cybercriminals.

  • Data theft, fraud practices and scams - Cybercriminals may also use malware-infected pirated content to steal users' personal information and use it to blackmail people until a ransom is paid. Some may steal users' personal information and then commit identity fraud. They may also sell this personal information to third parties who will try to use it to scam users.

How do I stay safe?

The easiest way to stay safe from the dangers of online piracy is to simply avoid pirating content altogether. Online piracy is usually a case of "it's too good to be true" and puts users at high risk of being compromised.

Use legal means to obtain content, such as trusted streaming services, online stores, and rental services. Not only will trusted and legal services be more secure in terms of parental controls and online security, but there's also no risk of copyright infringement from the user.

If you have any questions or need extra support, we're here to help you anytime in any language. Simply start a chat with us via the home screen of the Sonder app to connect to our team of qualified, caring health professionals.

Information sourced from: AnalyticSteps, Internetmatters.org, Lawpath, and USCybersecurity

Image credit: No Time To Die

All content is created and published for informational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice. Always seek the guidance of a qualified health professional.

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