Shoppers cautioned against pirated software this holiday season

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09:04 PM December 18th, 2012

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December 18th, 2012 09:04 PM

MANILA, Philippines—Online shopping is becoming more and more popular among Filipinos, what with the growing number of online shopping sites that offer great, cost-efficient deals, especially during this period of holiday rush. As consumers continue to make transactions online, there is greater need to take the necessary precautions to ensure online safety.

A study by Grey Group Asia Pacific indicated that there is a marked rise in the population of Filipino online shoppers, with 46% of Filipinos purchasing goods via the Internet. However, there are also dangers in making online transactions for one who has inadequate knowledge about the software installed in their computers.

In another study in China, it was discovered that out of 100 computers installed with pirated software, 94% contained malware. Malware, or malicious software, slows down the computer system and installs viruses or spyware that can expose confidential information including passwords, bank accounts and credit card information to others. It exposes the user to dangers such as identity theft, financial fraud and loss of significant data. This means that if a person is using pirated software then there is a high probability that this person is vulnerable to malware attack and probably identity theft.

Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines’ (IPOPHL) Director General Ricardo Blancaflor said, “We encourage consumers to be more vigilant when shopping online by making sure that the software they are using is legal. Doing so will give them the security they need when sharing personal information.”

The IPOPHL is a member of the Pilipinas Anti-Piracy Team (PAPT), together with the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI), Philippine National Police (PNP), and Optical Media Board (OMB), formed in 2005 to establish an integrated and coordinated effort by the government to counteract the negative effects of software piracy on the local IT industry and the economy.

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