Choosing between Free Paid Software Daily or Cracked Software
Technology particularly computers have changed the way we live. The internet has built a large information highway that is busy 24 x 7. With so many using this highway, it would be safe to assume that there are those who wish to use the free movement of data for illegal or even malicious purposes. Understanding this major drawback due to the freedom of the internet usage and easy access to knowledge, cyber space has understood the need for adequate protection. Unfortunately, every popular product designed to protect ends up on the list of cracks with free product keys and inbuilt Trojans and backdoors.
Pirated software or crack as it is often called is a major problem for vendors of the original software as well as the users of the pirated versions. Crack by its very nature poses a tremendous security risk. To overcome inbuilt mechanisms of copyright protection, hackers crack the software and then modify the program code. Unfortunately, they usually add code that installs spybots, malware, Trojans, backdoors or any combinations of these intrusive products. Hence hacked software poses the greatest risk to the user as he exposes his system as well as all other systems in his network to malicious content.
Cracking software may be done either manually by a hacker, or using an easily downloadable program. Yet another, often adopted practice is to obtain a pre-cracked version of the pirated software. Antivirus protection is helpful in identifying cracks that have been modified using programs. This is because anti-virus is able to identify the generic changes made to override the copyright protection usually found in licensed software. Unfortunately, software that has been cracked manually poses a major problem as it enjoys a shelf life that extends to the use of the pirated software and hardware on which it has installed itself. Do not use cracks is the best guideline to avoid this threat.
Rather than to rely on pirated software, computer users should understand the options available before them. Instead of using cracks, users should opt for licensed free downloads of software. These downloads are provided for limited periods and should be availed at the earliest. Another option is to shift to similar free software (also called freeware). An interesting example is WordStar which works on a Linux platform and is similar to the MS word that works on the Windows Operating system. There are many sites that provide downloadable free software daily.
It is a good policy for organizations to ensure that all software downloads and installations are routed through a single window, preferably a senior network administrator. This will go a long way towards ensuring the data integrity of the organization. The network administrator, using his knowledge, would be in a better position to choose the best possible option from the available free software daily. While a highly effective method to safeguard the data integrity of the organization, this strategy is difficult to implement. This difficulty arises primarily from the human tendency to reject instructions from authorities. Making employees aware of the possible scenarios in case of data theft is the easiest way to ensure this policy is always strictly followed by all users in the organizational network.