Software, particularly games, have a habit of getting popular quickly. And, since they’re often fairly easy to pirate, it’s not uncommon for lots of people to download and install them onto their computers. However, the risk of doing this is high. A computer infected with pirated software can be used to host, download and distribute malware and viruses, even those designed to target Windows systems. To avoid this scenario, here are a few things to look out for when looking to download cracked software.

The problem with pirated software is that it’s often unreliable. When you install it, you are also likely to get malware. For example, through Malwarebytes Anti-Malware, I spotted some type of malware that was added to the Windows Registry. Luckily, the software removed the malware and restored the Registry, but this was because they had a special built-in anti-malware tool.

Another reason it’s dangerous is that you don’t know what you’re getting, just that it’s supposed to crack your software. Pirated software can contain anything from advertising (in the form of popups) to tracking software.

Other risks include a lack of effective virus protection. The Malwarebytes Anti-Malware website recommends that users install an anti-malware program on their computers. Sometimes, though, problems like these can occur due to an inability to use the software correctly. If the user has added popups or adware on their computer that they don’t want, it can be hard to remove. For example, if they haven’t upgraded their browser, the popups may stop working.

If you want to download cracked software, try or at least check out their lists of apps they provide alongside their reviews. They provide a decent list of software for Windows, Mac, and Linux, all designed to be legal and safe for use. There is even a small selection of cracked versions of Google Chrome and Firefox.