A copy of Windows downloaded or activated by illegal means is referred to as a pirated copy. Most users opt for a cracked version of Windows to avoid paying Microsoft for the original copy while still enjoying full access to its features.
The thing is, downloading a cracked version of Windows can be a lot worse than simply installing an unactivated version from Microsoft for free. Whether you’re considering committing this crime or not, we’ll uncover the risks and security concerns of pirated Windows that may change your mind.
1. You May Not Get Any Windows Updates
Microsoft releases regular updates for Windows that introduce new features, fix bugs of previous updates, eliminate all loopholes, and make the system’s security more foolproof to ensure the privacy and security of users.
If Microsoft catches wind that your copy of Windows is not legitimate, it won’t supply it with updates. With no regular updates, you won’t be able to access new features, bugs will pile up, compromising your security, and the risks of a breach will loom over your head all the time.
So, considering how much you’d lose by not receiving regular updates, it’s not worth going for a pirated copy.
2. A Pirated Copy of Windows Is Less Safe
If you plan to work primarily on your Windows computer and store all of your confidential documents, using a pirated copy of Windows could be the worst decision you’ve ever made.
Since pirated copies do not receive updates, malware or viruses are more likely to infect them. And a single strain of malware, like the dreaded ransomware, can erase or lock you out of your files.
Besides random attacks, the person you downloaded Windows from could have loaded the pirated copy with malware. As such, you get a lot more than you bargained for with your download, and that’s a risk you can’t take without the support of Microsoft.
And, would you be able to get emergency assistance from Microsoft in case of a problem? Absolutely not! You shouldn’t expect a company to entertain you with customer support after stealing one of its products. That means you’d have to take the fight yourself.
3. You May See a Decline in Performance
In the same way that regular Windows updates keep your system secure, they also help keep the operating system working at optimal levels. If you don’t update your system for a while, you’ll likely see a decline in performance.
And that’s not including any malware that came bundled with the operating system, as we covered earlier. For instance, the distributor could have slipped a cryptojacker on your computer, meaning he would be mining crypto by secretly using your system’s resources.
When your computer is under such an excessive load, it has few resources available for the rest of the processing, slowing it down. So, if you don’t want your system to crash, freeze, lag or take forever to process everything, stay away from piracy.
4. You’ll Get Limited Access to Microsoft Products and Run the Risk of Getting Banned
Another downside to running a pirated copy of Windows is that you will not be able to use other Microsoft products with confidence. Microsoft can detect fake licensing details at any time, resulting in you losing access to any other services you’re using, even if you’ve paid for them.
Microsoft may also block you from accessing most of its products, such as its store. This would leave you relying solely on third-party software until you upgrade to a genuine Windows copy. Hence, if you’re a fan of Microsoft products and services and can’t live without them, you should avoid piracy at all costs.
5. Hackers Could Spy on You
When genuine Windows is activated with an original product key, it establishes a connection with the Windows activation server. When you activate it using third-party activators, there is a chance that the server it connects to may start spying on you.
You would be tracked whenever you use your computer going forward, and all critical information you feed into the system may get uploaded to those servers behind the scenes. It may put you in serious trouble if you would be unaware of what is happening in the background.
In addition to your personal information being stolen, infiltrators could alter critical data, leading to even legal outcomes if it’s confidential. To keep your data safe from prying eyes, it’s best to avoid using illegal means to activate your Windows so that you can close all doors to hackers.
6. You May End Up Behind Bars
In most cases, you won’t get caught running a pirated copy of Windows, primarily if you only use it on your computer. However, you may suffer harsh consequences if you’re running a cracked version of Windows on a public-facing PC, such as in your office.
If someone catches you using a pirated copy of Windows, they could report the mass illegal use of cracked Windows 10 to Microsoft. Then Microsoft or any of its authorized agencies might take legal action against you. It could not only cost you a huge penalty, but it may also put you behind bars.
Considering the risks associated with pirated Windows and the trouble it could cause, it is better to purchase a genuine Windows copy. Additionally, since Windows is relatively inexpensive, purchasing it today would protect you from enduring limitless damage in the future.
Stay Away From a Pirated Windows
You’d be familiar with the dangers of using a pirated copy of Windows. So, instead of engaging in illegal activity, buy a genuine Windows copy to protect your data and stay safe. If you can’t afford a genuine version, you should use the free version of Microsoft Windows. While you won’t have access to some features this way, you’ll avoid a lot of risks.
If you plan on purchasing or installing Windows for the first time, don’t forget to configure the update settings, set up Microsoft Defender, and create a backup plan before you begin actively using it.
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