Is Your Windows Genuine?

Posted on: June 1, 2015 in Software

Piracy is an ever growing problem. We have heard reports of several computer repair shops in the area selling pirated versions of Windows and other software.

What is software piracy?

Software piracy is the illegal reproduction and distribution of software applications, whether for business or personal use.

Illegal software copying and distribution not only hurts the end users, but tarnishes the reputation of all resellers, putting illegal companies at an advantage.

Types of Piracy

There are several types of piracy.

  • Casual copying and license misuse: This is usually done by individuals or companies sharing software and not obtaining enough licenses.
  • Hard disk loading: This is when companies distribute a single license to many different customers. The customer is under the impression that they have purchased a valid license for themselves.
  • Internet piracy: This is when unauthorized software is downloaded over the internet.
  • Counterfeiting: This is when illegal copies are made and distributed in packaging that replicates the manufacturer’s packaging.

How to tell if you are a victim of piracy?

If you purchased a new computer from a local computer store, they should always provide you with a software license along with the appropriate media, documentation. Certificate of Authenticity (COA), End User License Agreement, and security devices.

coa-stickers

If you did not receive a Certificate of Authenticity (COA) you should be suspicious and report this to the proper authorities. You should never receive a Windows upgrade or new system build without this certificate.

Microsoft has a website with information about how to detect if their products are genuine, http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/howtotell/default.aspx.

If you have any reason to believe you are a victim of piracy, CM PC Repair will be happy to inspect your devices FREE OF CHARGE. Contact us today, 352-693-5890.

How does this affect you?

Many people are unaware that they are using pirated software. If you are using illegal copies you may not be able to upgrade in the future and may run into legal issues if you wish to sell your computer later on down the road.

Offending local computer repair shops use multiple methods of distributing illegal versions of Windows and other software.

Here are some methods these “shady” computer repair shops are distributing pirated software:

  • Stealing valid license keys from customer computers when they bring them in for repairs. Once they have the keys, they sell them to unsuspecting customers as new and unused licenses.
  • Downloading illegal copies from the Internet. Some of these versions are “cracked” and have the licensing system removed. A lot of these illegal versions contain viruses, malware, adware, and/or spyware and may cause security risks to end users.
  • Installing Windows without a valid license and inform customers that their Windows license requires a monthly service charge to renew. These shops reset the activation timer on the computer to another 30 days.

If you have any reason to believe you are a victim of piracy, CM PC Repair will be happy to inspect your devices FREE OF CHARGE. Contact us today, 352-693-5890.

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