The dangers of piracy with Internet Matters


You know when you’re scrolling for a TV series or film to watch and the ONLY place you can find it is either on a subscription you don’t have or a behind a paywall? Yeah, annoying right?

So what do you do, buy it? Leave it and just say I can’t have that? Or do you find it somewhere else on the web, somewhere it maybe shouldn’t be and that you know you shouldn’t be streaming it from?

Thanks to Internet Matters it’s never been clearer as to why the third option isn’t really an option at all. They have launched an Anti-piracy campaign to explain to families across the UK why piracy matters and how dangerous it can be for not just you but your whole family.

According to a survey they carried out, six out of ten parents who admit to downloading illegal content for their kids said that they would be more likely to do so during lockdown, with 18% of them believing its completely safe… and I GET it. I really do. You’re in the middle of work, your kid is jabbering on about neeeeeeeding to watch the latest episode of their beloved TV series that was just removed from Netflix and when you search for it, you find it and just think “FINE! Anything to get 10 minutes so I don’t end up sacked for not doing my work!!” It sounds so simple, but the reality is that you’re opened up to so many possibilities and frankly none of them are worth the risk.

Here are some of the dangers of illegal streaming and downloading:

  • There are absolutely no parental controls on these sites whatsoever – why would there be? It’s illegal and they don’t care if you child accesses something that they shouldn’t.
  • On that note, these parts of the internet are totally unrestricted and unmoderated. It’s illegal activity, so anything could be weaved into the content. Will that episode of Superheroes turn into something totally inappropriate whilst you’re not looking? Possibly.
  • It’s not just your child that is at risk, streaming pirated material can put all your personal devices and security at direct risk – you run the risk of installing spam ads, viruses and even malware that can mine your data.
  • Lastly, but probably the most importantly, it is illegal! Whether you are the one creating or consuming the content, you’re breaking the law and it carries penalties.

It’s all well and good me telling you all these things, but how can we keep children safe online then?

  • Talk to them about the risks, especially when they are older and likely to feel peer pressure to watch or download the latest craze. Ask them if they think it’s worth them losing the ability to access the internet at all if their device is broken or damaged because that is a really common occurrence.
  • Download only apps you know you can trust onto your streaming devices or smart TVs, such as BBC iPlayer, ITV Player, 4oD and Demand 5. Subscription services like Netflix, Amazon Prime and NOW TV also have apps with kids’ content you can download and block off anything inappropriate. Sky TV also have a kids safe feature where you can lock your tv to only allow kid friendly content and they aren’t able to access anything for over 12 year olds.
  • Sites like and are really useful for helping you to find safe and legal content online.

The overriding message that Internet Matters wants to share here is that whilst it might be tempting, it’s so dangerous and damaging to download or stream illegally. It’s not worth the risks that you face.

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