33% of Brits think using pirated software is acceptable

Only a third aware of the dangers of illegally downloading programs

A third of Brits think using pirated software either at home or work is acceptable, says Microsoft.

The tech giant's 'Attitudes to Piracy' survey revealed 12 percent of employees use pirated software at work. Furthermore 57 percent of these said they boss wouldn't have a problem with this.

Microsoft said the research was conducted to coincide with the Digital Economy Bill, which includes measures to tackle internet piracy.

Two thirds of Brits admitted they were more aware of the dangers related to illegally downloading music and movies then they were of those connected to illegally downloading software.

Furthermore, 62 percent of those that use pirated software said obtaining the program had lead to their PC being infected by a virus, while nearly a third (31 percent) said the software has caused a loss in personal data.

A further 38 percent said they had experience a computer crash after using illegally downloaded software.

"As people continue to spend more and more time online, we think it's important to ensure people understand the dangers associated with this type of activity so they can better protect themselves," said Microsoft's head of anti-piracy, Michala Wardell.

"Computers are now central to the way in which we interact, work and consume media, and we need to make sure our awareness and understanding of the dangers of downloading pirated products improves too."

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Carrie-Ann Skinner

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