Real or fake? The risks of software piracy

If an online deal for software seems too good to be true, it probably is. The software could be pirated, which means that it’s been copied and sold illegally.

Pirated software often contains virusesspyware, and scams that can cause a loss of data, a corrupted system, and even identity theft. Only computers with genuine Microsoft software can get important security updates from Microsoft Update or Windows Update.

Watch a video about the risks of software piracy.

Learn more about how to protect your computer from pirated software.

About the Author
Eve Blakemore

Group Manager, Trustworthy Computing

Eve Blakemore is a Group Manager for Trustworthy Computing who delivers consumer guidance around the latest trends in security and privacy. Eve joined Microsoft in 1998 and has worked in corporate and field roles with Microsoft Learning, US Public Sector, Read more »

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3 comments
  1. Anonymous

    my wife's hotmail account has been exposed to software piracy. Why has this not been stopped by hotmail anti-virus or purchased anti-virus.

  2. Anonymous

    I received a r

    Telephone call from someone who said they were from microsoft and wanted to sell me s security program. Is that a valid company or is Microsoft being scammed?

  3. Anonymous

    I have received an E-mail from the "Windows Live Team" requesting a "Microsoft Account Password Reset", which would require that I give my Password to open my computer.  Is this legitimate?  It claims that my Windows access will be shut down in two days if I do not give that information.

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