IT Security & Network Security News & Reviews: 10 Holiday Shopping Tips to Avoid Buying Pirated Software

 
 
By Chris Preimesberger  |  Posted 2011-12-09
 
 
 

If the Price Is Too Good to Be True, It Probably Is

The first and most important rule is to use common sense: If someone charges $20 for software priced at $200, you can bet that it is pirated software.

If the Price Is Too Good to Be True, It Probably Is

Check the Seller or Websites Reputation

Don't be fooled by just seeing "power seller" or an equivalent rating. Pay close attention to whether they have any neutral/negative feedback or comments from buyers claiming fraud by the seller. Even just one or two claims of fraud are a serious warning sign.

Check the Seller or Websites Reputation

If You Use an Auction Site, Check the Sellers Other Auctions

Has this seller placed 10, 20 or more auctions for the same piece of software all at an unbelievable price? This is almost always an indicator of pirated software.

If You Use an Auction Site, Check the Sellers Other Auctions

Check the Sellers History

Has this seller or Website just appeared and started selling massive amounts of the same software or set of software products?

Check the Sellers History

Check the Location of the Seller

Is the seller or Website offering products from another region of the world? In addition to the potential for piracy, you may be purchasing software that will be incompatible for your computer. If the product is coming from a foreign country, you might end up buying software that will not run on U.S. computers, will run in a foreign language or may be unlicensed in the U.S.

Check the Location of the Seller

Pay Attention to Auction Length

Most auctions last from five to seven days. Auctions lasting less than that, such as one- and three-day auctions, are often posted by those selling illegal software who are trying to make a quick sale before the copyright owner takes down their auction.

Pay Attention to Auction Length

Dont Be Fooled by Official-looking Logos and Graphics

Dishonest people often misappropriate company logos to fool buyers into thinking pirated software is legitimate.

Dont Be Fooled by Official-looking Logos and Graphics

Look for Special Activation/Registration Instructions

If the seller provides a special number or procedure for activating or registering your software before you can use it, you are likely getting a pirated copy of the software. The same is true if the seller states that the software can't be registered.

Look for Special Activation/Registration Instructions

Do Not Buy Compilations

These are multiple products from different publishers on the same CD. Legal software is rarely, if ever, sold that way.

Do Not Buy Compilations

Pay Special Attention to How the Software Is Advertised

Do not buy software being sold as back-up copy" software thats offered as "brand-new CD in sleeve" (rather than in a box) or software offered as "beta," "pre-release" or "NFR" (not for resale).

Pay Special Attention to How the Software Is Advertised

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