Streaming services that don’t cost anything are appealing, but they could compromise your privacy and security. How often is it that you find a free streaming site accidentally, while you were looking forward to watching a specific show?

Many New Zealanders stream movies illegally rather than buying them legally. Since the “three strikes” copyright amendment law targeted unlawful downloading, streaming videos in real time has become more popular.

The good news is that the shifting face of screen entertainment offers more options than ever, which means that you should avoid free streaming services at all costs. New Zealanders can choose from a wide variety of online streaming services to pass the time. For instance, you can watch ITV player in New Zealand and catch up with your favorite ITV content.

Today we will discuss the dangers of using pirated streaming sites in New Zealand and how to protect oneself from them.

Illegal Vs Legal Sites: Do You Know The Difference?

Streaming services are not always prohibited, as you surely know. Common (and legitimate) streaming options include Disney Plus, Amazon Prime, Netflix, BBC iPlayer, TVNZ+ and Hulu.  Such services follow standard procedures for negotiating content hosting licenses with producers. They make sure that creators get paid when their work is viewed.

While legality varies widely per jurisdiction, access to such sites is often not prohibited. However, it’s usually against the law to host such sites or to upload/download anything from them.

What Are The Security Risks of Free Streaming Websites?

Free streaming services are inherently unsafe. We don’t give much thought to our security when using these services, however many of them don’t bother to keep their users safe.

Here are three of the most prominent dangers associated with free streaming services:


Malware infections are common on illegal streaming services. A common tactic used by hackers to lure in a large audience is to make the content available illegally for free.

Both web pages and videos can be infected with malware. Website operators may solicit additional cybercriminals to install malware on their sites so that they can gain control of a user’s device. This kind of malware is downloaded and installed in the background, without your intervention and knowledge!

The malware in the apps can exploit security holes in your wireless network to infiltrate your system. As a result, you need to make sure that the top antivirus software is installed on all of your devices.

Data Leakage

Over the last few years, customers have discovered free streaming services which led to an  increase in the number of visits. This growth in traffic gives streaming providers access to more people’s private data.

Online streaming requires registration. The website may connect you to the original streaming provider if you haven’t signed up. You’ll be asked for your name, email, and phone number when you get there.

Though this may seem harmless, the data is now accessible to the website administrators. Hackers may not directly own illicit streaming services, but they may be engaged in their creation or upkeep.

The possibility of having your data stolen by cybercriminals is high. Identity theft, phishing, and other frauds are just a few of the ways in which cybercriminals might use the information you voluntarily share with them. If there is no privacy policy in place, the website owner may choose to sell your information to cybercriminals on the dark web. Always look into a company’s data collection practices by reading their privacy policies.

Downloading Copyright Content

While it’s unlikely  that using a free streaming service to watch TV series and movies will get you in trouble with the law, downloading content using a torrent client will. Not only may they be used to track you down, but using them to download anything that is protected by intellectual property laws is against the law.

Most free streaming sites also offer a download option, and it only takes one accidental click to start downloading a torrent that might get you in legal hot water. Therefore, it is crucial to proceed with caution when using these platforms.

Ways To Protect Yourself

There are some fundamental precautions that everyone who uses the internet, whether for streaming or anything else, should take.

These protocols are:

Subscribe to Legal Streaming Sites

This one is a no-brainer. As was previously said, it is unwise to use free streaming services.

A word of caution: not all free streaming services are shady and risky. Pluto TV, Crackle, Tubi TV, Vudu, Kanopy, and XUMO are all legal alternatives. If you’re looking for a free option, the streaming service Peacock offers one too.These sites not only safeguard your data, but also give credit where it’s due to the people you love watching.

Utilize Anti-Virus Software

When you visit an illegal streaming site, you’ll constantly be bombarded with pop-up adverts, many of which are infected with malware. The moment you click on one of these ads, malware will begin infecting your device.

You can gain protection from these malware by downloading antivirus software. A powerful anti-virus program combined with a bulletproof firewall can foil any malicious software’s attempts to infiltrate your system.

Avoid Clicking on Suspicious Links

Some malicious software downloads itself, but the vast majority requires human intervention. Hackers hide malware as photos or links because they know no one would knowingly download it.

Bloatware is an unnecessary program that might slow down your computer. It’s found abundant on illegal streaming sites. Clicking on any of the website’s buttons could lead to the installation of bloatware or other potentially harmful applications on your device.

The term  is often used to refer to potentially malicious software that may be included with free streaming software. Some pirated video websites will mislead you into downloading media player software by saying you need it to watch the film or TV show of your choice. Some of the software might trigger browser and device pop-ups that are quite unpleasant. Make sure you don’t click on any dubious download prompts or links.

Use a VPN

Using a VPN will ensure that you will stay under the radar. A VPN will mask your IP address and replace it with a new, fictitious one. The bogus IP address will prevent anyone from suing or locating you.

If a particular free streaming service is unavailable in your region, a VPN can help you access it by connecting you to a server in a nation that does.


Most of us found a streaming site by accident when we were looking for the latest season of a show we love. These free streaming sites with lots of material from all over the world seem too good to be true, and they are. These sites are not only against the law, but they also put your devices at risk in a number of ways.

Officials in New Zealand have also started cracking down on these sites for good reasons. Laws vary from country to country, but the bottom line is pretty clear – free streaming sites aren’t safe and should be avoided at all costs.