Research by the Business Software Alliance (BSA) revealed that 52% of small UK businesses had admitted to using illegal software.
Although some small businesses appear to have downloaded this software accidentally, many have admitted that their illegal software use was premeditated. More than one in five (21%) said they had used a software key generator – a tool which generates working serial codes for software which is often illegally acquired.
Those small businesses using illegal software have admitted that it has put them at risk in many ways. 41% said they believed their details had been subject to identity theft, 28% had their credit card cloned, and 33% said they had additional money taken from their account after purchasing illegal software.
Michala Wardell, UK committee chair of BSA said: “The practice of downloading illegal software amongst small businesses is clearly widespread. The research suggests that a large number of UK businesses have an unclear understanding of what constitutes illegal software use, at best; and a blatant disrespect for copyright law and business ethics, at worse.”