Every month we have at least two or three movies in the cinema. Cool and epic video games come out every month. Dozens of books come out every month that will fuel our imagination. With so much new, it is normal that we feel like hacking and torrents all this entertainment instead of paying for it. Now, hacking comes with more risks than you might think. I will review them below.
The constant threat of malware
Let’s start with the most logical reason: malware. Online piracy, and specifically downloading torrents, is the easiest way to infect your PC with viruses. This especially affects pirate gamers; in 2013, AVG reported that 90% of hacked games contain some type of malicious file.
Since I know that many of you will continue downloading torrents after reading this (and it’s okay, we’re only human), here are some tips to reduce (not eliminate) the chances of downloading torrents with malware:
Do not download the movie, series or video game that just came out. Better wait a month or two.
Read the comments of the torrent you want to download. If you have malware, many users will comment on it.
Avoid popular sites. They tend to attract most hackers.
Your data in danger
There is something worse than being infected with a virus and that is having a hacker steal your data or turn your computer into a zombie.
Some torrents or files do not hide malware but are monitored by their creators. In this way, they detect your IP address when you download the file. Next, they scan your ports and vulnerabilities on your computer.
The risk of pirated software
Nowadays, almost all software is updated automatically… Except for the pirated versions, of course, since the updates take place on the official servers of your company. Therefore, if you pirate a piece of software, it will not update you. That is bad for two reasons. The minor reason is that you will run out of new features as they come out. But the most important reason has to do, once again, with security.
Many of the great mass hacks of 2017 have occurred because hackers were taking advantage of security holes in outdated software. These attacks affect lazy users who do not want to update and hackers who cannot update programs.
Losing your job due to hacking
Downloading pirated content can put you out of a job. How? Let’s be honest: when you work in a company with a generous connection, we take the opportunity to download movies or series from work. Thus we save time and money that would mean improving our own Internet connection.
This activity carries two similar risks. The first is being caught with your hands on the table. It is relatively easy to detect the daily browsing of a worker. The second reason is that you download a torrent or a file with malware designed to steal business data. In this case, you would not only be fired, but perhaps many doors would be closed to you in the world in which you move.
The most obvious reason
I end with the most obvious reason of all: piracy is illegal and you can get convicted of it. Now, do you know someone who has been arrested or fined for this type of activity? If they exist, they are very very specific and almost anecdotal cases.
So in this case all I can do is appeal to your sense of morality and ethics. Imagine that you spend years of effort and dedication creating a movie, developing a video game, composing music… and you realize that there are more downloads than sales of your product. It would be sad, don’t you think?
On the other hand, I am aware that sometimes we hack because we don’t have much money, because we don’t know if we are going to like said movie or book… My recommendation here would be to always ask ourselves the question “Did I really like what I just downloaded?” pirate?”. If the answer is yes, find a way to thank its creators. If you can afford it, buy the product. And if not, recommend it to your friends or family because it is possible that they can buy it.