Risks of Software Piracy

Risks of Software Piracy

What is the worst that can happen when you buy pirated software? What most people do not realise, that it is not only illegal but can seriously harm your device too.

What are the risks?

Sites hosting illegal software typically also host malware, which your system can download without your knowledge, infecting your computer, leaving it open to attack. Some of the malware is smart enough to remain invisible to your antivirus, or even able to disable it completely, leaving you further exposed to attack.

Usually, the methods of activating illegal copies can also load on malware, disable security and update features, leaving the system even more vulnerable.

Other risks can also involve heavy fines if you are found to be running software that has been illegally acquired.

How to spot illegal software

The telltale signs are easy to spot, for example, Microsoft Windows (one of the most pirated), is sold at a price of about £100 – £120 (depending on the retailer), so if you see it for £20 or for free, then something is certainly wrong. Generally, if it is free or super cheap, then it will be counterfeit and you should walk away from it.


The main impact pirated software has is on lost revenue. Sure companies like Microsoft etc, who make billions a year, may not feel the sting, but the legitimate retailers (such as Phase 4 Computers) definitely feel the sting of lost sales from piracy.