UK: Famous footballer illustrates piracy’s impact in a new FACT report

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A new piracy awareness campaign by FACT, the Federation Against Copyright Theft, uses famous Premier League footballer Jimmy Bullard to communicate the dangers of piracy to consumers.  In conversations with cybersecurity expert Jamie Woodruff, Mr Bullard learns “some of the risks lurking behind illegal streams, from viruses and malware deliberately designed to infect your devices, to full-scale identity theft caused by the sharing of personal information like email addresses and credit card details,” according to a FACT news release.

According to new research conducted for FACT, nearly half of respondents (47%) in the UK say that they have shared or would be willing to share their personal email address to gain access to illicit streams.

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FACT says that the majority (64%) of respondents understand that they would be putting their personal information at risk by illegally streaming.  33% admitted they have experienced fraud, been hacked or have been exposed to online scams as a result of illegal streaming. Almost a quarter (23%) of respondents have also received requests for personal information while streaming.

The research was conducted between the 17th – 25th August 2021 by Opinium with 1000 sports fans in the UK.

Read the FACT news release

Why it matters

“European football content accounts for over a quarter of all illicit streaming sites online. This means that football fans in particular are putting themselves at risk of everything from viruses and malware to stolen personal information,” said Jimmy Bullard, who is now retired from play and is now co-host of a sports program on Sky Sport.

He continued: “The truth is that while these sites may look harmless, the criminals behind them and the danger they pose are not. Even the simplest of illicit sites will regularly record your IP address, track your location, and even use your device to farm for crypto currency. There have even been occasions where connected devices such as webcams have been unknowingly hacked, due to users downloading fake web players that install malware on their machine.”

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