Software Piracy Risks and Torrenting Guide


Author: InvisibleUser Team

Categories: Internet Privacy

In this article, we will outline why software piracy risks can be detrimental to your privacy and security.

Getting caught is by far not the biggest threat of software piracy. Learn why you should be careful and how software piracy can damage your machine or even yourself. Do not risk an infected PC, just to get free games and protect yourself with the best privacy BitTorrent clients.

Software Piracy Risks

Malware Risks

The most common of the software piracy risks is malware. Not only is it against the law in virtually any country, but the pirated software is oftentimes only a Trojan horse an attacker uses to infect your machine. This is very common with torrents of recently released software/games/films. The types of malware can be fairly benign things like adware, which is just annoying and slows down your system.

In more serious cases, they could be sophisticated hacking tools. Those can integrate your PC into a botnet, which is a network of compromised machines. Your computer is then used abused to run DDoS attacks through your IP address. It is also possible that you catch a type of malware that steals you personal information. This information is then often sold to other hackers or used for credit card fraud and identity theft. Those risks will cause all other privacy techniques you will learn on our website to stop working. Privacy-protecting software that we recommend becomes useless if you machine is compromised, right from the start.

Reduced Software Quality

Additionally, pirated software often misses features, stops working after a certain period of time and cannot be updated. Not even critical security updates will be installed, which makes software piracy risky. It is therefore a much smarter choice to buy the program that you need. If it is far too expensive, like Adobe’s Creative Cloud design suite, look for free alternatives. Ideally these should be open-source as well. An example for that would surely be GIMP, which is a full featured image editor with great plug-in support.

It easily replaces Photoshop CC from Creative Cloud and is entirely free of charge. In case you really like the software, you could then think about supporting the open-source developers with a little donation. There are many other alternatives for Adobe programs, you can find them on AlternativeTo.

You see, even if your VPN perfectly anonymises you, the risk of malware and hacking remains. In the end, being hacked or having your credit card details stolen is far more expensive than buying software. A free copy of a 60$ game is not worth sacrificing your system’s security. When you download malware yourself, that is the easiest way for an attacker to compromise your system.

If you ever thought about downloading a pirated OS, those are especially dangerous. It is the most basic software on your PC and gives an attacker full access to everything on the machine. Besides that, pirated OSs often stop working after a short period of time. You could potentially lose all your data and will not be able to recover it. You should also ask yourself, why you want to download a pirated version of Spycrosoft Windows 10 Pro or Office365 with OneDrive, when the only thing these programs are good at is eavesdropping on you and grabbing your data? It is really not worth taking all the software piracy risks.

It is actually quite funny that a bunch of Dutch guys who make this site tell you not to illegally download software. Our national heroes are all pirates. It is true, just look up Piet Hein, a pirate that worked for the king!

How to torrent safely

If you do not want to listen to use and still download torrents, please make sure that you use a secure BitTorrent client. Never trust μTorrent or Vuze. Ideally, use safer open-source alternatives, such as qBittorrent and Deluge. These two and especially qBittorrent are focused on privacy. qBittorrent even offers an encrypted connection for both “leeching” (download) and “seeding” (upload). Out of these two, just choose the one whose GUI is your thing. Unfortunately, even with safe clients there is still the problem that you cannot know for sure whether the VPN provider really takes the “no logs” policy seriously. If they do not, they are in possession of detailed evidence of the things you have downloaded.

You still always want to use a VPN. To learn everything about how this can protect you, please read our VPN guide. We also have an article on the best free VPNs for you to check out.

Further Reading

Please always take the time to prepare yourself if you ever need to use BitTorrent. We have found two websites that could be of assistance to you. One is from Best BitTorrent VPN and explains the absolute minimum of privacy measures. The other one comes from VPN University and talks specifically about DNS leaks. The latter helps you avoid revealing your IP address effectively.


Why VPNs are dangerous!


Torrent Download Risks (not getting busted!)