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Reality Check

Don’t Be a Victim of Software Pirates! Educate Yourself to Protect Yourself

Created: 04 Jan 2010 • Updated: 03 Jun 2014 • 2 comments
Ctrox's picture
-1 1 Vote
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Did you know that pirated software can cost you your identity?

Increasingly, counterfeit software is likely to contain spyware, which after installation can steal personal and confidential information from your computer without your knowledge. This stolen information can be exploited immediately by identity thieves.

In some cases, people turn over their financial information to disreputable businesses in exchange for pirated software that doesn’t work and can make their computers more vulnerable to virus attacks and various online threats. That could result in the loss of irreplaceable files or the corruption of other software on the computer.

In other cases, pirated software can lead to the destruction of a computer by permanently damaging the hard drive or other components.

Follow these guidelines to steer clear of pirated software: 

  • Be wary of “too good to be true” pricing. Prices that are 30% below MSRP are suspicious. 
  • Counterfeit software is frequently distributed in CD-only form. 
  • Symantec software is always packaged in official Symantec packaging. It is never packaged for resale in plain-white sleeves or plastic jewel cases. 
  • Be wary of any Media Kits sold that don’t contain a full Symantec license key label but have printed license keys directly on the sleeves. 
  • Selling “backup” copies is illegal, regardless of any legal “disclaimers” or other claims by the seller. 
  • Watch out for homemade burned CDs or offers with more that one manufacturer’s products included on a singe disk. 

What to watch for on auction sites

To protect consumers and to safeguard its intellectual property rights, Symantec continually monitors the Internet to identify auctions of unauthorized software, but consumers are in the best position to protect themselves by carefully scrutinizing the auction listing, the offered product, and the reseller before making a purchase. If a seller is unfamiliar to you, look for an online and offline customer support contact.

To learn more about buying and selling software on auction sites, consult these links: 

Stay on top of spam

Also be wary of unsolicited email that promotes Symantec/Norton branded software. Legitimate email promotions for downloadable versions of Symantec products will only come from the Symantec Store. 

  • Click here for more information on sources of spam. 
  • Click here to download the monthly Symantec State of Spam Report, which summarizes the latest spam trends and email threats. 

Always report piracy

If you feel that you have been victimized by piracy or have any information regarding software piracy or abuse, please report it to Symantec by one of the following methods: 

  • Email us at 

Mail us the form along with: 

  • The name and contact information of the vendor (Website, eBay seller, individual, or retail outlet) you purchased the product(s) from, including Website or store location, address and phone numbers, and invoices if available. 
  • Please include the CD (compact disc) together with all original packaging, including the envelope that the purchase arrived in, original retail packaging if any (including white sleeve envelopes with the product key on the back). 

Please send these materials to the below address serving your geographical location: 

North & South America

Symantec Corporation

Attention: Global Brand Protection

350 Ellis Street

Mountain View, CA 94043 USA

Europe, Middle-East, Africa

Symantec Corporation

Attention: Global Brand Protection

Ballycoolin Business Park, Blanchardstown

Dublin 15, Ireland

Asia Pacific

Symantec Corporation

Attention: Global Brand Protection

10 Eunos Road

8 #09-02, Singapore Post Centre

Singapore 408600

Comments 2 CommentsJump to latest comment

sbertram's picture

One thing people forget is the added cost.  I am sure Symantec puts a ton of money into fighting this every year.  That cost gets passed on to the cusomter. 

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