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Some tips from the Symantec Global Brand Protection Group

Created: 26 Oct 2009
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Don’t fall victim to piracy, educate yourself to protect yourself.


Pirated software is more likely to contain spyware, which after installation can steal personal and confidential information (for example credit card, bank account, passwords, address book information, etc.) from your computer without your knowledge. Stolen information can be exploited immediately through pirated software by identity thieves.


Pirated software can make your computer more vulnerable to virus attacks which can lead to loss of irreplaceable files or corruption to other software on your computer. In some cases, pirated software can lead to the destruction of your computer by permanently damaging the hard drive or other components.

Here are a few warning signs:
Too good to be true pricing:

  • Prices 30% below MSRP are suspicious

Purchase software only from reputable companies. When purchasing from websites make sure they are legitimate:

  • During checkout, look for a padlock icon on your browser
  • Make sure URL is https:// not http://. The "s" means that information is encrypted when it's sent over the Internet. It doesn't mean the site is legitimate.
  • Make sure the website has valid contact information
  • Review and confirm return policy
  • If you see Symantec software for download on any website other than Symantec Store (, DO NOT DOWNLOAD. i.e. Torrent sites, peer-to-peer, etc.
  • What You Need to Know About OEM and Academic Software

Auction Sites

When purchasing from the Internet, including auction sites, be cautious of:

  • Unbundled OEM and System Builder software
  • No box and manual on CD
  • No tech support
  • Key/serial number only
  • Disc only
  • CD-R/backup copy
  • Software delivered via e-mail
  • Software described as "cannot be registered"
  • Compilation- more than one program on a single CD

To understand more about buying and selling software on auction sites, see the links below:


  • Be cautious of unsolicited spam that promotes Symantec/Norton branded software
  • Legitimate e-mail promotions for downloadable versions of Symantec products will only come from the Symantec Store or our authorized affiliate, Digital River
  • File spam complaints with FTC
  • For more information on sources of spam

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 Brand Protection by one of the following methods:

  • E-mail us at
  • Fill out an online reporting form
  • 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/or 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 listed below:

  • 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

Other software piracy contacts:
You may also report suspected software piracy by calling the Anti-Piracy Hotline of one of the following organizations: