Not everyone has $10 to spare each month for a Netflix subscription. Streaming websites come to the rescue by allowing you to watch your favorite movies and television shows without paying any money.

But there are some sites that aren’t 100% safe for consumers. The security of a streaming site can be judged based on several factors, including feedback from viewers, reputation, and whether the site is legally permitted to provide copyrighted content via online streaming.


You can save some money by using an insecure streaming site, but there will be other costs, like your data.

Who Owns the Site?

It all comes down to the streaming website’s owner. Who owns the website, and is it an established company? Does the owners’ information exist online anywhere?

Legitimate companies typically run secure streaming websites, and you can easily research them online. If they don’t charge subscriptions or any other fees, they likely make money from advertising.

On the other hand, unsecured streaming websites are generally owned by hackers or anonymous individuals who violate copyright laws. Streaming on these websites is illegal, because the owners lack the rights to distribute the media they’re providing. For this reason, if you want to watch any content for free, we strongly advise using the best free legal streaming sites.

Illegal streaming sites are also completely free to use, but they could be earning money from sources other than the interstitial ads during streaming.

Here are some ways that free streaming sites put customers at risk:

1. Access to Your Personal Information

According to the piracy research company Muso, between 2021 and 2022, the illegal streaming of movies increased by 38.6%, while visits to free streaming websites increased by about 8.8%. Due to the surge, various streaming sites now have access to many people’s personal data.

Most streaming websites require you to register before you can watch movies and TV shows. If not on the original streaming site, the website may send you to a different page where you must register.

You may be asked for various types of personal information, such as your full name, email address, and even phone numbers.

All the submitted information is now available to the website owners. Even if hackers don’t own illegal streaming websites, they could be involved in the development or maintenance of such sites.

There is a good risk that a cyber criminal could steal your information. Cyber criminals may use your personal data for various illegal uses, such as identity theft, phishing scams, and other unlawful activities.

The website owner may sell your information to cyber criminals on the dark web if they want, particularly if the website lacks a privacy policy. Always check the privacy policies on websites to see whether the company is shady with its data collection processes.

2. Viruses and Malware

Illegal streaming sites are typically very heavily infected with malware. Hackers often make the content freely available illegally to “bait” a lot of users.

Malware can be hidden in a web page and a video. The owners of the websites may ask other cyber criminals to add malware to their sites, which can then take over a user’s device. Such malware is automatically downloaded and installed on your computer without your knowledge or consent.

If you download illegal pirate apps or add-ons, the streaming website might promise to let you access and stream pirated content. The malware hidden inside the apps can get onto your wireless network by taking advantage of network security vulnerabilities. Therefore, you must ensure that all your devices have installed the best antivirus program.

If the malware is installed on your device, it may have various negative effects on both your device and your personal data. It could provide criminals access to your login details, credit card information, or confidential files.

Malware may also cause your system’s performance to suffer, resulting in a slowdown or system freeze.

3. Bloatware

Illegal streaming sites are full of bloatware, an unwanted program that can slow down your computer. You could accidentally install bloatware or other unwanted software onto your device when you click any of the website’s buttons.

Bloatware itself is not malware, although the type found on free streaming websites may contain malware. Sometimes, illegal streaming sites may falsely claim that specific software is required to access your desired movie or show, leading you to download it.

Bloatware is frequently bundled with the software, which will negatively impact the efficiency of your computer by using a lot of storage space, memory, and battery life. Some bloatware causes annoying pop-ups to appear in your browser and on your device.

If you’ve already fallen victim, here’s how to easily uninstall bloatware from your computer.

4. Invasive Ads

Ads could also be a form of malware called adware, which is not always just a harmless marketing tactic.

Have you ever clicked on a video and been redirected to a different website instead? The website may resemble buttons or pop-up windows asking users to “download now” random applications. That is actually adware, which earns its developer money by showing intrusive and aggressive ads to website visitors.

Adware can be injected into your browser by malicious software on illegal streaming websites. Your browser will automatically display endless streams of pop-up advertisements. These advertisements aren’t always harmless. In fact, certain adware can monitor your online activity.

Even worse, adware might provide hackers access to your login information, including your username and password.

Of course, it is illegal to sell and distribute content while breaking copyright laws. However, it’s also a crime to access illegal streaming websites. Legitimate streaming services like Netflix, Disney, and Universal have sued several illegal streaming sites.

Accessing illegal streaming websites could result in loss of service, fines, and legal trouble because your internet service provider (ISP) can keep track of your activities. Luckily, a VPN can stop your ISP from monitoring your online activity.

How to Use a Free Streaming Site Safely

Not all free streaming sites are unsafe, as some are run by legitimate companies. But if you’re using any free streaming sites, just be careful. For instance, stay away from illegal streaming websites and those that require sign-ups.

We always recommend using legal and authorized platforms for streaming content to ensure your safety and respect copyright laws.

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