Is Your Child Gaming Online? How To Avoid Pirated Software

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Online gaming is an extremely popular pastime for children and teenagers, and it’s no wonder - you can play alone or with friends, you can play multiplayer virtually, the games are exciting, and the graphics these days are amazing!

However, with the allure of new games and the temptation of obtaining them for free, many young gamers might find themselves downloading pirated software. As a parent, it's crucial to understand the risks associated with this practice and how you can protect your children from potential harm.

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Is it ok to play pirated games?

Many popular games can be expensive, and kids may feel tempted to download pirated versions to save money or gain access to exclusive content and cheats. Pirated software is readily available on various websites and through peer-to-peer sharing networks, making it easy for children to find and download these files without fully understanding the risks.

So, is it ok to play pirated games? Pirated software often comes bundled with malicious software. This can include viruses, spyware, and ransomware that can harm your computer, steal personal information, or lock you out of your own files. Malware from pirated software can create vulnerabilities in your system, allowing hackers to access sensitive information, including personal data and financial information.

Moreover, downloading and using pirated software is illegal and can result in serious legal repercussions, including fines and legal action. Many game developers and online platforms have strict anti-piracy measures. If a pirated game is detected, the user’s account could be banned, leading to a loss of all legitimate purchases and progress.

Will pirated games damage my PC?

Pirated games are likely to have a poorer performance compared to their legal counterparts - they may not function properly, leading to frequent crashes, bugs, and a generally poor gaming experience. But, will pirated games damage my PC?

Pirated games can potentially damage your device in several ways. Some key risks associated with using pirated games include:

  • Malware: Pirated games are often distributed through unofficial channels that can inject malware, including viruses, Trojans and spyware into your system. These malicious programs can steal your personal information, corrupt files, or even take control of your device.
  • Security vulnerabilities: Pirated software can bypass security features that are present in legitimate versions, leaving your system more vulnerable to attacks. These vulnerabilities can be exploited by hackers to gain unauthorized access to your device.
  • System instability: Pirated games may not be properly tested or may be altered in ways that can cause crashes, glitches, and other issues that can lead to system instability. This can result in frequent crashes or even render your operating system unusable.
  • Lack of updates: Legitimate game developers provide updates to fix bugs, improve performance, and add new features. Pirated games do not receive these updates, which can lead to a subpar gaming experience and leave your system vulnerable to exploits that would otherwise be patched.
  • Loss of support: Pirated games do not come with customer support. If you encounter issues or need assistance, you won't have access to official support channels.

What is a torrent download and how does it differ from downloading pirated software?

While torrent downloads and pirated software might seem similar because both can involve downloading files from the internet, they are fundamentally different in terms of legality and purpose. So, what is a torrent download? Torrents are a legitimate technology used for efficient file distribution, while pirated software is illegal and poses significant legal and security risks. Always ensure you are downloading content legally and ethically.

What is ‘torrenting’?

‘Torrenting’ refers to the process of downloading and uploading files through a specific protocol. It is a method of peer-to-peer (P2P) file sharing that allows users to distribute data over the internet in an efficient and decentralized manner.

While many organizations and creators use torrenting to distribute large files efficiently, such as open-source software, public domain movies, and Linux distributions, consumers must exert caution as torrents from untrusted sources can contain malware, viruses, or other malicious software. This poses significant security risks to your computer and personal data.

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Avoid pirated software: How Safer Web DNS Filter can help

Using a DNS service like Safer Web by ReasonLabs can help avoid downloading pirated software by providing enhanced security features and filtering mechanisms. A DNS (Domain Name System) service translates human-readable domain names (like into IP addresses that computers use to communicate with each other. Enhanced DNS services like Safer Web offer additional security features to protect users from malicious and harmful websites.

Benefits of Using Safer Web DNS Filter by ReasonLabs

Content filtering: The service can filter out and block websites that distribute pirated software. This helps ensure that users do not even have the opportunity to access or download illegal content, keeping their browsing experience within legal and safe boundaries.

Malware and phishing protection: Safer Web by ReasonLabs can block access to websites known to host malware or phishing scams. Many sites offering pirated software are laced with malicious code designed to infect your computer, steal data, or hijack your system. By blocking these sites, Safer Web helps prevent accidental downloads of harmful software.

Real-time threat intelligence: Safer Web uses real-time threat intelligence to keep its database of harmful websites updated. This means new sites distributing pirated software or engaging in other malicious activities are quickly identified and blocked, reducing the risk of exposure to such threats.

Enhanced privacy: DNS services like Safer Web can offer enhanced privacy features, ensuring that your browsing data is not tracked or sold. This can be particularly useful in protecting your online activities from being monitored by malicious entities.

Parental controls: The DNS services provides parental control features, allowing you to block access to inappropriate or illegal content. This can help prevent younger users in a household from accessing sites that offer pirated software.

As well as using DNS, using a parental control app could help avoid pirated software making its stealthy way onto whatever device your child is using! For example, FamilyKeeper by ReasonLabs allows parents to block access to suspicious websites.

Additionally, cyber tools such as the Online Security browser extension can monitor downloads to check they are safe, and not laced with malware.

Parents must stay vigilant about the risks associated with pirated software. By educating your children, using parental control apps to monitor and restrict online activities, and promoting safe online practices, you can help protect your family from the dangers of malware and legal issues pertaining to downloads. It must be noted that it is essential to only download games from reputable sources, such as official app stores and the game developer’s website - and be sure to pass this safety rule on to young gamers in your household.

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