Dangers of digital piracy advice hub | Internet Matters

The dangers of digital piracy

Revealing the risks you need to know

The internet is full of great content for children and young people. However, streaming or downloading from illegal sites, also known as digital piracy, can expose them to some hidden horrors such as age-inappropriate content, disturbing pop-ups and cyber threats.

Your family’s devices may end up with viruses and you could fall victim to fraud. Spotting the risks isn’t always easy. That’s why we’ve created this information hub to help you protect your family from the dangers of digital piracy.

The dangers of digital piracy

Revealing the risks you need to know

The internet is full of great content for children and young people. However, streaming or downloading from illegal sites, also known as digital piracy, can expose them to some hidden horrors such as age-inappropriate content, disturbing pop-ups and cyber threats.

Your family’s devices may end up with viruses and you could fall victim to fraud. Spotting the risks isn’t always easy. That’s why we’ve created this information hub to help you protect your family from the dangers of digital piracy.

See the stats

When asked, a group of survey respondents who infringed and illegally streamed claimed they had experienced these hidden horrors:

STAT 1: 50% were exposed to age-inappropriate content

There are no parental controls with pirated content and explicit adverts may appear anytime.

STAT 2: 50% had their devices infected by Malware

Many of these illegitimate sites can install viruses onto your family’s devices. These viruses, also known as malware or malicious software, can spy on your digital activity, lock your device until a ransom is paid or give hackers access to your device.

STAT 3: 47% fell victim to fraud

Criminals use illegal streams, sites and downloads to try and hack into devices and obtain your private passwords.

*Source: From a nationally representative sample of 1,000 respondents from Dynata, the world’s largest first-party data and insights platform, September 2020.

Research document

For more facts, see the Mumsnet Digital Dangers Report

Read the mumsnet report

Here’s what you can do to keep your family safe

Stick to services you can trust

Stay with the legitimate, trusted services that you know, online and on your TV.

Set parental controls

Apply parental controls to devices that are connected to the internet. Even your TV should let you restrict access to internet browsing.

Set online boundaries

Work with your child and agree which sites and apps are best for them to use. You can review them as they get older and discuss anything that upsets them.

Here’s what parents think

Watch the following videos to learn more about parents concerns on this issue.

Real parents on: Piracy leading to camera access
Display video transcript
A lot of young children aren't aware that their computers are going to be hacked.

Malware can control your device and access its camera. That's really scary isn't it. Yeah. I'm

really scared to download anything that I don't already know is fully legit. In terms of piracy

there's nothing free. I know as a parent I need to do more when it comes to this topic.

We'll chat to the kids, just because it's not good and it's illegal. Yeah.

Real parents on: The Dangers of Digital Piracy
Display video transcript
Our kids don't know what piracy is one

in three people using illegal streaming

sites were exposed to age

inappropriate content that's scary this

is very scary that could be anything

it's not just about pornography it could

be anything that they're not supposed to

see

that's why we are so adamant

about the right kind of sites i don't

like this

i think we need to talk to the kids yeah

Real parents on: Piracy leading to fraud
Display video transcript
We've had the conversation, don't download illegal content. Apps that allow you to stream illegally

share your private details with criminals. Do they? It can steal all your information, it can

steal all your data and steal your bank account details. Not that we have much for them to get.

It's free so that they can get your information. When you go into

those kind of sites you can't guarantee the security.

  • a lot of young children aren't aware that their computers are going to be hacked malware can control your device and access its camera that's really scary isn't it yeah I'm really scared to download anything that I don't already know is fully legit in terms of piracy there's nothing free I know as a parent i need to do more when it comes to this topic we'll chat to the kids just because it's not good and it's illegal yeah
    Display video transcript
    #
  • 00:00 our kids don't know what piracy is one 00:02 in three people using illegal streaming 00:04 sites were exposed to age 00:05 inappropriate content that's scary this 00:07 is very scary that could be anything 00:09 it's not just about pornography it could 00:11 be anything that they're not supposed to 00:13 see 00:13 that's why we are so adamant 00:17 about the right kind of sites i don't 00:20 like this 00:21 i think we need to talk to the kids yeah
    Display video transcript
    #
  • 00:00 We've had the conversation, don't download illegal content. Apps that allow you to stream illegally 00:05 share your private details with criminals. Do they? It can steal all your information, it can 00:11 steal all your data and steal your bank account details. Not that we have much for them to get. 00:17 It's free so that they can get your information. When you go into 00:22 those kind of sites you can't guarantee the security.
    Display video transcript
    #

Here’s how a child sees it

Read a child’s experience of watching pirated content.

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Supporting resources and guides

Use the following resources to help protect children and young people from the risks associated with digital piracy and help them make safer choices online.

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