and see what you like. You check the price and realize it is way above your budget. As you scroll for options, you see a cracked version of the software. What do you do?
Before you click on the download button on that cracked software, you need to understand the implications of the choice you are about to make.
What is Cracked Software?
Cracked software is the changing or alteration of paid software, usually to remove its copy protection allowing the user to access, distribute, and use it for free. Most software comes with copy protection or Digital Rights Management (DRM). Paid software is protected in different ways:
- Using product activation keys that use a code to validate the license.
- A limited number of activations.
- Node–lock licensing that assigns a license to one or more devices
- Perpetual licensing that allows the owner to use the software forever after payment.
Cracked software is generated in three main ways:
- Using keygens. A keygen or key generator is a program used in producing valid serial numbers of a paid software product, fooling the developer into thinking you have paid for it.
- Using patches. Patches are lines of code introduced to the program to alter how the software works. Though software patches are legitimate, illegal ones are done to disable or remove copyright protection.
- Using loaders. Loaders are small executable files used to block or bypass copy protection measures.
Many people opt for the cracked version of the software because it is free. But free can be very expensive in the long run. Not only is a crack harmful to your device, but it is also illegal software that comes with legal ramifications depending on which country you live in and its laws.
Disadvantages of Cracked Software
It is Illegal
Downloading cracked software Is more than just a disadvantage. It can come with life-altering consequences. Willful infringement of an end user license agreement with an antipiracy clause is punishable by the US Federal Copyright law.
You can be fined up to $150,000, and if the software is sold to others, the fine can go up to $250,000 and may be coupled with a 5-year jail term.
Always know that someone installing illegal software on your PC without you knowing is still considered piracy and is also a punishable offense that can cost you $200. According to US law, you can only create a copy if it is for backup purposes.
Doesn’t Come With Updates
Software is frequently updated to fix bugs, update features, and handle any security issues that may arise. Due to its nature, cracked software cannot be updated and will become obsolete over time because the features are not being upgraded. This especially affects gaming software. Without security updates, you become vulnerable to malware infection.
It is Unsafe
Cracked software also makes you susceptible to malware, hacks, data breaches, and even identity theft. Because the sights that offer such software are usually dodgy, you can open yourself up to adware and ransomware infections.
In addition, hackers can easily add malware to pirated software and use it to mine your data and personal information. If you are using a shared network, like in an office, such software can end up infecting devices in the whole network. This means you are not the only one harmed by cracks. Protect yourself so that others can be protected too.
A crack can easily trigger a false positive alert when scanned by an anti-virus. If there is malware present, it will pass the scan test, which can result in device infection with viruses, trojans, worms, or worse.
There is no support
Software malfunctions from time to time. When this happens, you will find that you need more help than can be found by online experts. Any time you go for cracked software, you deny yourself the chance to get support from the developer.
It can get you Banned
If you use cracked software, you can get a lifetime ban from using the software. This is above any fines you may get.
Piracy is stealing from a business. The software development process is a difficult one. By the time it reaches commercialization, a lot of hard work has gone into the process. This is what prevents many developers from continuing with further developments.
It’s Not Worth it
The repercussions of using cracked software are just not worth it. You may end up downloading software that does not work or receive a ban that prevents you from using it anyway.
In addition, your device OS controls everything, and once it is compromised, your whole device is as well.
If the paid software is above your budget, research alternative software that is free or open source. You may find that the software is better suited to you.