Any application that gets installed on your computer system without your knowledge and proper consent is known as a Potentially Unknown Program.
This article here talks about what potentially unwanted Programs (PUP) are? How are they distributed and how you can remove PUP from your system.
The name PUP was given by McAfee to avoid mistaking it with downloadable programs as malware. What makes a PUPs unique with malware is that the client offers to agree to download it.
At the point when the client downloads a program from the Internet and fails to peruse the download agreement, he or she may neglect to comprehend what other undesirable projects are being downloaded along with the utility program.
What are PUPs?
Ever downloaded software’s online? The chances are that you have unwittingly cluttered your system with PUPs.
PUP is short for potentially unwanted programs, and are also referred as bundleware, junkware, and potentially unwanted applications (PUAs).
PUP usually enters your computer bundled with freeware programs like video files, PDF creators, free games, and download managers. These unwanted programs are parceled along with the utility program.
Often you may also find them entering your system through various download sites.
Most of the times, PUP is referred as adware infection that display pop up ads on your computer screen. Such ads are mainly designed to boost the installation count of additional questionable content like toolbars, extensions, and plugins. The primary motive here lies in earning illegal money by Pay-Per-Click methodology.
Why Are PUPs not called Malware?
Technically there is a slight difference between a PUP and malware. Malware, as per their definition is a malicious program that enters computer systems without consent and carries out destructive activities.
However, on the other hand, a PUP is a program that has entered your PC with your consent, by clicking on the “I Agree” tab you have agreed to install it by signing the EULA Agreement.
Are PUPs harmful?
PUPs are customarily rated low on the severity scale when compared to other harmful malware.
Considered as low-level contaminators, they do not steal your credit card details, run a keylogger to steal confidential data to hack your computer.
But that doesn’t mean they are harmless either. Here’s a comprehensive list of doubtful actives that PUPs can execute, notably including:
- Modifying Web Browser Settings: Certain PUPs are capable of altering the default parameter of your browser page. They also download unwanted toolbars without user’s permission.
- Hijacking Search: At times PUP may redirect your search results to sponsored third-party websites. This is specifically done to boost the traffic on their site and earn revenue.
- Running Advertisements: Mostly PUP is categorized as adware programs and stuffs your PC screen with annoying and unwanted ads and pop-up banners.
- Watch your daily activity: The Nastiest form of PUP are often programmed to watch your browsing activities and share your data with third party advertisers.
- Fake software update notifications getting displayed out of nowhere and web pages getting changed to hyperlinks.
How to Avoid Potentially Unwanted Programs
Read through install wizard directions carefully
While establishing programs online, users are typically guided through and installation process. The install process includes a series of steps and users tends to skip through the levels in a rush. To catch hold of hidden PUP, you should
- Read the information detailed in the navigation bar to check for unwanted programs.
- Do not choose the default settings, always use the custom version of the download process.
Read through EULA carefully.
End User License Agreement is a legal agreement between the end user and makers of the online utility programs. Users are advised to read the terms and conditions mentioned in the EULA before clicking on “I Accept” button. To avoid PUP:
- Thoroughly go through the entire agreement as it might contain details about all the hidden programs that might get downloaded to your system with the utility program.
Level up your security
Watchfulness and attentiveness are the best precautionary methods through which users can avoid PUP. However, as per security researchers, multiple layers of security should also be used for complete system protection.
Vigilance provides a valuable assistant. However, one should always consider using additional layers of a system for removing PUP virus and for 360-degree security and safety of PC.
Best system practice is vigilant behavior that will shield your system against all PUP and other system infections.