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FAQs: Software applications

If I am using pirated software, are there any steps I can take to protect myself?

The short answer is no. If possible, you should only use legal software. Pirated software is not uncommon and in quite a few places it's easier to obtain than legal versions of proprietary software. Pirated software is often compromised and may include hacks, viruses and other malware; this makes your data extremely vulnerable to security breaches. With pirated software you do not have any access to support or updates. What's more, the authorities in a growing number of countries have begun to verify that organisations possess a valid license for each piece of software that they use. Police have confiscated computers and closed down organisations on the basis of 'software piracy'. The best way to make sure you are not at risk of data vulnerabilities or legal measures is to use Free and Open Source software.

Where can I find computer software products?

There is a lot of software out there and sometimes it can be hard to choose an application to suit the job at hand. You can learn more about proprietary software on websites such as and For Open Source software, there are the websites of the main software releases, such as, and (for Firefox and Thunderbird). A repository of Open Source software can be found at Tactical Tech has several toolkits available, which include Open Source Software tools selected by a team of international experts and designed to meet the needs of NGOs, human rights advocates, independent journalists and community organisations. See

How can I set my application to automatically save the document I am working on?

Most office suites, such as Microsoft Office and OpenOffice, have an auto-save option which can be found in your preferences. This will save your document as you work, without your having to remember to do so or interrupt what you're doing. The auto-save function is not a default setting, it needs to be turned on after you install the software.