Online streaming platform Kodi is currently being used by millions of people as an alternative to popular services like Netflix or Amazon Prime Video. The service effectively allows people with the Kodi app to stream all sorts of content via their TV without downloading. However, both the app and boxes sold with it installed can come with some major risks.

What are the risks of using Kodi?

Kodi is a highly versatile platform which can be used to easily stream legal content.

However, the platform’s particular adaptability means it can also be used by people to house illegal content.

This is done via illegal apps installed to Kodi devices, which people use to stream subscription content for free.

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Naturally, this has been noted by authorities, and people have been arrested before for selling Kodi boxes pre-installed with illegal Kodi applications.

Illicit applications used to show this kind of content can also leave users open to attacks from Malware.

This is because they are not official channels, and can be released without being subjected to the same scrutiny official applications go through.

A new report from the Foundation for Art and Creative Technology (FACT) has revealed millions of people access digital content illegally, which can come with huge repercussions.

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Kieron Sharp, Director General at FACT, said: “This report has come at a crucial time in our fight against digital piracy.

“A quarter of Brits access digital material illegally, and often don’t realise the risks associated with that, for them and their families.

“Pirates are not Robin Hood characters; they are criminals who do it to make money through illicit means.

“As a result, the risks are high – inappropriate advertising that could be seen by young children, electrical safety associated with counterfeit parts, and financial cybercrime.”

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Gary Davis, Chief Consumer Security Evangelist at McAfee, added the unchecked nature of Kodi apps may mean users are allowing unofficial apps to illegally farm their data.

He said: “You may search for something and you may get what you are looking for but you may get something that you are not looking for.

“And that’s where the problem lies with Kodi.

“I’m not saying they’ve done anything wrong but if somebody is able to embed code to turn on a microphone or other things or start sending data to a place it shouldn’t go.”