Europol’s ‘one-stop shop’ of useful information about the impact of coronavirus on criminal activity and cybercrime includes a checklist of risks that can befall consumers who access illegal streaming sites.
Europol contends that pirates are among those “exploiting our fears around the COVID-19 pandemic,” aiming to trick people who are looking for information by any means necessary.”
The site’s good advice includes:
- Be aware that risks exist
- Only use official subscriptions
- Download only from official platforms
- Check online payment security
- Suspect sites often have sloppy spelling and poor editing
- Make sure that services are from registered entities
See Europol’s “COVID-19: Illegal Streaming” checklist and resource page
See Europol’s overall resource page “Staying Safe During Covid 19: What You Need To Know”
The page also points to reports published by the European Union Intellectual Property Office which detail the business and technological ecosystems behind video theft and piracy.
Why it matters
The dramatic increase of video consumption due to our stay-at-home practices, combined with the financial hardships being experienced by many of us, has driven consumers to save money any way that they can – including the pursuit of free content.
Coronavirus or not, the risks to consumers accessing illicit video sources are the same, ranging from credential theft and financial risks to malware and ransomware.