Q. What are the risks of using unlicensed software?

When you use software without a license, you put yourself/your business at risk in several ways.

Vulnerability to cyber-attacks

If you download unlicensed software, there’s a one in three chance your computer system will contract malware. This could be a virus, ransomware, spyware, or a variety of other threats that leave your systems wide open to cyberattacks.

Malicious entities could record your keystrokes, stealing your passwords. They could hold your private data to extortionate ransom. They may steal or corrupt your files completely.

Cyberattacks cost businesses, on average, $200,000 to resolve and vital data is often lost forever. You have to ask yourself: is it really worth the risk?

Reputational damage

Using unlicensed software can cause irreparable reputational damage. After all, it is breaking the law.

It can erode the hard-earned trust you’ve built with your customers and clients. It can also make you look negligent and naive, even though you may be unaware that unlicensed software is in use. Imagine having your offices raided while customers are visiting, or having the situation become a news story. It’d be catastrophic for your reputation.

Personal criminal liability

The use of unlicensed software isn’t just a civil issue. It can result in you having to pay huge fines or even face imprisonment. Don’t underestimate the personal repercussions of using illegal software.

Legal escalation

The legal ramifications of using unlicensed software vary from country to country. However, it often leads to huge financial damages.

In the United States for example, if copyright infringement is undertaken wilfully, the infringing party can face fines up to $150,000. Other countries, which have traditionally been lax on infringement law, are now taking the matter more seriously, ordering the payment of massive fines in recent years. With software now vital to the day-to-day operations of many businesses, it’s likely that this trend of punishing software infringement more severely will continue.

Q. What happens if I don’t respond to ITCA?

If you ignore the communications we’ve sent you, you’re putting yourself at risk of all the consequences mentioned above. If circumstances require it, we’ll work closely with local authorities to pursue cases of software license infringement that we can’t settle by more amicable means.

Q. What should I do next?

Do the right thing. Follow the instructions provided in the email you’ve received from us. We’ll work with you to resolve the issue without having to escalate the matter further.

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