A third of UK citizens believe that it is acceptable to use pirated software at home or at work, according to a new survey conducted by Microsoft.
The poll of 1,000 people showed that pirated software is nearly as popular in the workplace as it is at home. Microsoft said that the trend is alarming because chunks of its revenue are lost each year to pirated software.
One in eight employed adults surveyed admitted using pirated software at work, aligning with the fact that 57 per cent of respondents believed that their boss would consider the practice acceptable.
Microsoft was keen to point out the risks of using illegal software, claiming that it has led to the introduction of a computer virus in 62 per cent of cases, a loss of personal data in 31 per cent of cases and a system crash in 38 per cent of cases.
"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," said Michala Wardell, head of anti-piracy at Microsoft UK.
The company has timed the launch of its research to coincide with the debate on the Digital Economy Bill.
If the proposed legislation is passed by parliament as it stands, persistent illegal downloaders and file sharers will be punished by being disconnected from the internet.
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