Free movies, costly malware

“Something for nothing” sounds appealing, but often there’s a hidden cost. If the something is a site or app offering free downloads or streams of well-known movies, popular TV shows, big-league sports, and absorbing games, the hidden cost is probably malware. Sites offering free content often hide malware that can bombard you with ads, take over your computer, or steal your personal information.

We recently downloaded movies from five sites that offered them for free. In all five cases, we ended up with malware on our computer. Generally, it served up a slew of unwanted ads.

And if that’s not enough to make you pause, downloading pirated content is illegal.

Finally, some free download sites ask for a credit card to process your registration. It’s not a good idea to give your credit card number to a site offering illegally downloaded content. They’re run by “pirates,” not legit businesspeople, and you can’t trust them with your financial information.

Tagged with: malware, scam


"We recently downloaded movies from five sites that offered them for free. In all five cases, we ended up with malware on our computer."

Which five sites were they? As consumers, we'd like to know. At least, I know that I would like to know.

The FTC cannot release this information without a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request.

These 5 sites must probably be run on the 5 computers Thomas J. Watson spoke of some years ago.

thanks for the fyi.

so what can I do to protect myself? suggestions?

You can find helpful tips in our free publication, Malware.

What you can do to protect yourself is not click any link offering free movies or games. If you really want to see a movie there are low cost options such as YouTube or Amazon or Netflix or Red Box that are legal. You can rent or buy a digital copy that you can watch on other devices you own if you want.

You can use legitimate sites that require you pay for the content (such as Netflix), so those making the content can receive legitimate royalties for their hard work.

yes - should be available from FTC and noted in this post ... but what shows up in comments ? " Free Advice for Malware " !!!

For helpful tips to avoid, detect, get rid of, and report malware, please see our free publication, Malware.


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