Reason to Avoid Pirated Content: It’s Dangerous (Watch)

Thinking about viewing free or unusually cheap movies, TV or sports content? You should know that the content is probably pirated and shared without permission. But that’s not the only reason you should think twice about viewing it. Pirated streams and downloads often come with hidden dangers.

The most serious dangers come from giving untrustworthy people access to your personal information.

When you download or stream pirated content, what you’re doing is ushering pirates past your computer, mobile device and network defenses. You’re telling your firewall and security tools that pirates are ok, and to accept what they’re sending. So, if a pirate wants to, it’s easy for them to infect your devices and network with malware.

Some malware, like adware, is mostly annoying. But most malware is more sinister. There’s malware that can spy on you; malware that can freeze your devices until you pay a ransom; and malware designed to root around your hard-drives and browsers looking for personal information. And with that information—like credit card, bank account, and social security numbers—someone can steal your identity. Which, at best, is an enormous hassle, and at worst can leave you in debt.

The lesson? Protect yourself. Only do business with legitimate content providers. There are plenty to choose from.

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