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Pirating content on personal devices risks work security

According to new research from RiskIQ which specialises in external threat management, 59 per cent of UK citizens use their personal devices to stream and download pirated content with while they are at work.

The company used OnePulse's surveys to gather information regarding how many people pirate content online using their personal devices and whether or not they believe that using the same devices in the office poses a security threat.

RiskIQ found that 80 per cent of the individuals who access pirated content do consider possible security risks, such as infection with malware and viruses when doing so. However of those surveyed, 40 per cent do not consider the security implications that accessing pirated content could have on their companies.

During a previous study of piracy sites for the Digital Citizens Alliance, RiskIQ found that individuals who download or stream pirated content are 28 times more likely to have their systems infected with malware.

Of the piracy sites that were studied, 33 per cent suffered from at least one malware related incident during the four weeks that RiskIQ conducted its study. 20 of the piracy sites exposed 3 out of 4 of their visitors to malware.

More than half of the malware (55 per cent) that was detected infected users through fake prompts to download Flash or other anti-virus updates. The remaining 45 per cent of malware came directly as a result of downloading pirated content.

When surveyed as to why they choose to download pirated content despite the known risks in doing so, 23 per cent of individuals said they did so because it was free, 13 per cent did so because it was available first through pirated sites instead of through paid sites, 12 per cent did so due to their belief that all content should be free and 10 per cent did so as a result of the content they wanted to access being blocked in their region.

Users who download pirated content need to be aware of the risks in doing so. Not just for themselves but for any network they later decide to connect their computer to.

Image Credit: M-SUR / Shutterstock

Anthony Spadafora
After living and working in South Korea for seven years, Anthony now resides in Houston, Texas where he writes about a variety of technology topics for ITProPortal.