I think we can all agree that watching TV shows, movies, sports, even children’s programming is very different from how it was when we were kids, but have you ever thought about the potential risks associated with streaming illegal content?

Hi, I’m Leticia Barr, founder of TechSavvyMama.com. Since 2008, I’ve shared technology, education, and parenting advice on TechSavvyMama and today I’ve partnered with StreamSafely.com to share how you and your family can stay safe when streaming favorite content.

When someone steals a car or a purse, it’s called theft. But when the item stolen is a movie, TV show, or sports broadcast, the offense is copyright infringement or what’s known as content piracy.

Pirates distribute illegal content across the world by taking advantage of the same technologies and systems that deliver legitimate content. We can stumble across pirated content when searching without even knowing. It’s so widespread you might have watched stolen content without knowing it, but it can put our families at risk.

Pirated content can be distributed through purchased  hardware, jailbroken streaming sticks, illegal streaming services, and file sharing websites and apps.

Our kids are accessing content for school. Then, in their downtime, they may be utilizing a myriad of online services. And they might not know that the content they’re accessing isn’t safe.

Studies have found that 1 in 3 sites that offer pirated content also deliver malware.

Almost half the people who stream pirated content report malware attacks. Malware can infect your device or network, putting your personal information at risk. It also has the potential to ruin your computer.

Another risk of downloading or streaming pirated content is identify theft. Criminals can use malware to infiltrate your computer and network to capture your valuable personal, medical, and financial information. 

Let’s be honest, we can’t watch our kids every second of every day. We want to be sure they’re not streaming content they’re not supposed to see.  We want them to be safe when online but telling them isn’t enough.

Fortunately, legitimate content distributors provide tools that help parents protect their kids from nefarious content and content distributors.

So, what can you do to keep your family safe from pirated content so they don’t put your family’s network and personal information at risk?

Here are 3 quick tips to keep your family streaming safely:

Number 1: take some time to revisit parental control settings on your devices

Number 2: ensure your malware and antivirus software is up to date

And finally, number 3: let your kids know it’s important for them to come to you when something doesn’t look right. Tell them they’re not in trouble and you appreciate knowing so you can keep them safe.

By knowing about pirated content and the risks, we can teach our kids to stay alert and be aware so everyone can stream safely.

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