Over 50% of illegal content users are victims of hacking, viruses | Security | News | Rapid TV News
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Research from the Industry Trust for IP Awareness - the UK film, TV and video industry’s consumer education body has found that those who illegally download or stream TV, film and sport content are at a higher risk than ever of suffering a host of negative personal and financial consequences.
INdustry Trust Malware 27AUg2020
The quarterly Infringement Tracker data compiled for The Industry Trust for IP Awareness by Walnut Unlimited found that more than half of current copyright infringers have fallen victim to downloading viruses, hacking, to identity theft and fraud.

Taking a closer look at the risks, the survey found that nearly a third of people (29%) illegally accessing content online have been infected with a virus, malware or ransomware, an increase of 14% since December 2019. While Industry Trust for IP Awareness said that viruses and malware present a risk to the safety and security of consumers’ devices, it added that illicit streaming sites also pose a serious and growing threat to users’ personal and financial details, with the number of people becoming a victim of fraud having doubled in the last eight months alone.

The data also shows that the reality of the situation is of even greater concern for those who choose to make a payment to illicit streaming sites by entering credit card details. It revealed that around a third of current infringers opt to subscribe to illicit streaming sites and the incidence of fraud among this group of people is much higher, with around a quarter of them (26%) falling victim to often serious fraud, while 25% have also said they have been charged multiple times. In addition, 31% of current infringers also reported being exposed to inappropriate content as a result of their illegal activity, with offensive pop-ups or adverts and age-inappropriate content among the content individuals and families have experienced.

Consumers who currently access content through illegal means were actually actively concerned by these risks. Almost a third (28%) of infringers claimed to feel worried or guilty about the consequences of not watching through official sources.

While noted that many people opting to access content illegally are also often the same people who regularly enjoy legitimate ways of doing so, such as paying for TV packages to access premium sports content, Liz Bales, chief executive at the Industry Trust, remarked that it was important for users to be aware of the risks they were exposing themselves to when they sought illicit content through apps and add-ons, fully loaded devices or through a host of other means.

“Illicit content is put in front of consumers by unscrupulous individuals and organisations,” she added. “So it should come as no surprise that they would take the opportunity to empty someone’s bank account, disable their devices or steal valuable personal information. We want audiences seeking out entertainment online to enjoy the safest, best quality experience they can. While the temptation to see something first or to do so without paying for it might be attractive, especially at a time when consumer confidence and the economic outlook are both compromised by the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic, it really is worth asking the question as to whether acting on that urge is worth the risk.”