Two out of three people in Germany (64%) are unaware of the hidden dangers of piracy – fraud, identity theft and malware – or its links to criminal gangs, according to new research by intellectual property protection organisation FACT.
The research, which focused on consumer behaviour and attitudes to piracy, found that with restrictions in place across the country, the nation has turned to home TV and entertainment tech to keep themselves occupied, with a third of Germans (32%) buying or receiving devices to watch films, TV shows and sports during the Christmas 2020 period.
Despite awareness of the illegalities surrounding piracy being high (68%), the majority of consumers (64%) were unaware of broader risks associated with it. Half (50%) were initially tempted to use their new devices purchased during the festive season to access premium content like sports or films for free, unwittingly putting themselves, and their gadgets, at risk of the hidden dangers of piracy.
Once warned of the wider risks of fraud, identity theft and malware, as well as piracy’s links to criminal gangs, consumers admitted it changed their perceptions of piracy and those behind it. In fact, 51% said they would now advise friends and family against it.
“While it’s good to see that so many people are aware of the illegality of piracy, there appears to be a lack of understanding about the very real risks consumers face, with many unwittingly putting themselves in danger as a result. Identity theft, fraud and exposure to malware and viruses as a result of piracy are all too real,” said Kieron Sharp, CEO of FACT. “I’d ask anyone who is considering turning to illegal content to think twice about whether it’s worth risking giving criminals access to your devices and bank accounts.”
The research was conducted by Opinium with 1,000 consumers in Germany on January 4/5, 2021.