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With few exceptions, most small businesses strive to operate ethically and legally, but many employees may not even realize that they are breaking the law when they download, purchase or use software illegally. Common forms of software piracy in small businesses include:

  • Over-installing a piece of software on more machines than it is licensed for;
  • Inadvertently purchasing pirated software from an unauthorized seller or online auction such as eBay;
  • Employees downloading illegal software to their work computers or bringing unauthorized software from home without management’s knowledge; and
  • Abusing licenses for public cloud services by sharing login credentials.

Because of the enormous financial, legal and technological risks of software piracy, it’s important that your company conducts an annual audit to determine if all of your employees’ software is legal. Click here for free software audit tools for all small business.