Is the content free or unexpectedly cheap?

TV shows, sports programs or movies offered for free or for considerably less than what you would expect to pay could be from unauthorized sources such as pirate websites.

Are there prominent warnings & disclaimers?

Sites and apps that enable access to pirated material often include a disclaimer that they “do not condone the illegal sharing of copyrighted material.” This is done to provide a warning that you are proceeding at your own risk if you choose to continue.

Pirate websites often suggest a VPN

Some websites, especially torrenting sites, may suggest you obtain a Virtual Private Network (VPN) before using them. VPNs are recommended by pirate sources because they help users disguise their device and location identity to avoid detection. This is a red flag signaling that you are dealing with a source that may include pirated content.

Is your anti-virus software trying to tell you something?

Another red flag may come from your anti-virus software. For example, McAfee security software might warn that they “regularly scan sites for suspicious and malicious activity — and this one just isn’t safe.” The warning may also tell you what risks are ahead, such as phishing, a type of online identity theft that uses email and fraudulent websites designed to steal your personal information.

Avoid pirate websites by sticking to brand names, doing a little homework

The best way to avoid pirate movie sites is to stick to well-known services and apps from brands that create content or are authorized to distribute it. When in doubt about a source, search the name online to look for information about its legitimacy and any concerns users may have registered regarding malware, privacy or other issues.

Interested in learning more?

Access legitimate streaming services on our “Where to Watch” page.

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