Did you know – $82 billion worth of software programs sell legitimately worldwide, while $63 billion worth of computer programs are pirated.

The effect of piracy on the economy is quite clear from this data, but what about the dangers of the same pirated software on your phones and desktops? A recent Microsoft survey, in which the company conducted a PC test purchase sweep, revealed that more than four in five (83%) brand new PCs in targeted countries in Asia are loaded with pirated software. The PC samples selected were purchased from retailers that offered PCs at a much lower cost and free software bundles to lure customers. In many cases, these retailers also sold pirated software at their store.

Pennywise, pound foolish? We think so!

Here are the top reasons why you shouldn’t be using pirated software on your devices-

Malware and Virus issues

When you use licensed software, you can rest assured that it hasn’t been tampered with and will do only what it is supposed to do. Pirated software, on the other hand, is mostly used as a medium to distribute viruses and malware. Once these viruses are on your phone or, hacking groups and criminals can log your keystrokes, thus capturing passwords or other sensitive information, and very easily steal your data, corrupt important files, leak information, and worst case, hold that information for ransom.

Financial risks are large

Although it’s rare, if you are caught using unlicensed software, there could be big financial implications in terms of getting fined. When someone pirates a software, they’re infringing on a copyright. In some countries, the fine could also extend to a jail term.

The poor performance of the device

Modifying the codes of a software system vis-à-vis piracy can unintentionally ruin the accuracy or output of the device you are using. This cracked software might even be riddled with bugs that will slow down your phones. Moreover, unlicensed software will not always be able to get the official software upgrades, which means you will miss out on security fixes, patches, etc.

Incur more costs

If your unlicensed software fails on you, while damaging your device in the process, the cost of getting it fixed, or replaced will be infinitely more than the cost of buying an original software in the first place. Even company guarantees won’t help since the software you’ve been using wasn’t provided by them.

You don’t need to expose yourself to these perils of using pirated software. Use a free version of the program, instead, or a less expensive pricing plan. Or simply buy it. Price doesn’t always have to be a factor in this decision, especially if this ‘cost-effective’ decision ultimately turns out to be a nightmare.

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