Illegal software online

Over time the offer of illegal computer software has moved from the streets to cyberspace and today illegal software may be found and acquired online (e.g., online auction sites, P2P networks, etc.). With regard to the software online VPIA advises the following:

Rely on your instincts. Compare the online price with the prices offered by sellers elsewhere. Carefully assess available discounts, offers. If the software can be purchased for a price which is ‘too good to be true’ probably it is illegal or that can be a case of online scam proposals (offering goods and then not delivering them).

Do your homework. Before buying programs online make sure the online seller is trustworthy: check publicly available information, go to the company’s website, read other buyers’ comments, reviews about the seller, look for friends’ advice, recommendations, etc.

Check software authenticity. Do not trust any computer programs that are on sale without documents certifying their authenticity. Authenticity is proved through license agreements, authenticity certificates, user instructions, warranties, etc.

Beware of backup copies. Avoid sellers offering only backup software copies. This is an obvious indicator of illegal software.

Refuse to buy software sets. Different software manufacturers do not sell different computer programs in the same package.

Keep the seller’s contact information and documents generated at software purchase. If after the purchase you are to find out the software copy is illegal this data will allow identifying the fraudulent seller and initiate legal liability proceedings against him or her.

Avoid sellers who do not care about your safety. With the intention to protect their client’s data from third parties online sellers install a SSL certificate, which encrypts client’s data. If the certificate is provided by the seller the browser displays a lock which when clicked reveals the certificate information: the domain it is assigned to or the company it belongs to. Don’t forget to go through the online seller’s privacy policy.

Ensure a secure payment. Make sure the payment is wired through a safe Internet connection. Avoid executing financial transactions on computers with public access.

Before any purchase read the sales terms and conditions carefully.

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