Ahoy me hearties! Talk like a pirate day it may be but thar be good reasons why it’s not a good idea t’ act like one online. Pillagin’ the Internet for booty might seem attractive t’ some bilge-sucking scallywags and ye can see why sometimes. A recent study by Ofcom cites cost, availability o’ desired material and convenience as the main reasons why people choose t’ hornswaggle when it comes t’ online content and more than half of ye Internet users have downloaded or streamed infringin’ material at some point. The Ofcom study also suggest that infringement notifications or technical measures, as foreseen by the Digital Economy Act, were unlikely to change behaviour but avast ye for here be a couple o’ good reasons why your booty may turn out t’ be cursed!For starters the University takes its response t’ copyright infringement notices seriously (even if some users don’t) but they incur a cost t’ process and respond t’. That cost be passed on t’ a user’s college who are then left t’ decide if and how t’ discipline the scurvy bilge rats. That might well be walkin’ the plank but is more likely t’ be a monetary fine which exceeds the value o’ the pieces of eight ye might have saved by not payin’ for the content in the first place.
Secondly copyright infringement can be a great way t’ scuttle your computer and get yourself hacked. If ye be downloading software from untrustworthy sites then how do you know what it does and whether or not some scurvy dog has altered it t’ do something nasty? If you’re usin’ a knocked off operatin’ system (Windows or IOS which your messmate has given ye for example) then ye won’t be able t’ repel boarders or batten down those (security) hatches. Not bein’ able t’ apply critical security updates leaves ye floatin’ like a sittin’ duck whenever ye do anythin’ online. And thar be some truly fearsome buccaneers out thar! Disreputable sites servin’ unlicensed films, music and books can also be breedin’ grounds for exploits and malware distribution.
So, if ye want to stay shipshape then, by all means talk like a pirate, but don’t act like one. Savvy?
If ye be navigating t’ Oxford this term why not draw alongside on Thurs 24 Oct 12:30-13:30 t’ learn how t’ secure your PC or Mac, and read more about how t’ protect yourself on the InfoSec website?