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What’s a PUP?

pup

PUP stands for Potentially Unwanted Program.  Broadly speaking, any program that is distributed as part of another but not needed for its functionality can be considered a potentially unwanted program.

  1. “A PUP (potentially unwanted program) is a program that may be unwanted, despite the possibility that users consented to download it. PUPs include spyware, adware, and dialers, and are often downloaded in conjunction with a program that the user wants.

 

How They Get You

You want to download a specific application- so you click on the download link.  Up pops a dialog box asking you to confirm that you want to download it.  You click “Yes”.  What you didn’t notice was that hidden in the small print, was a checkbox or verification to also download another piece of software. Don’t feel bad for not noticing it.  It was stuck there by design because the developers know that no one wants to take the time to read all of the small print, and usually just clicks ‘Yes’ out of reflex. Minutes later, you complete the download and the software is installed.  Later you jump on the Internet with your browser and ..wait.. what’s that?  All of a sudden you have a couple of new toolbars, or your startup page is now different, or pop-ups are appearing!  How did that happen?  Well now you know.

 

Now, don’t get the idea that all PUPS are malware or malicious.  Some totally legit companies installs PUPs along with their software.  They are usually being paid for this, as it’s a form of ad revenue generation for otherwise “free” programs.  Still, even if its not malware or spyware, it may not only install browser extensions or toolbar on the system, it may also install resident software that runs in the background at all times.  This can and most likely will affect the performance of the computer and may have other detrimental effects mentioned previously.

 

The Solution

The easiest way to avoid PUPS?  READ THE FINE PRINT when you download anything!  Choose the “custom” selection and manually select what you want to download/install.  Never just click yes and hope for the best!

 

Also make sure you have installed a reliable anti-malware program, such as MalwareBytes Pro.  This will keep any known malicious PUPs from being installed on your computer.  But it won’t stop programs from reputable companies that you clicked “Yes” to, so again, READ before you click!

 

And if you do find yourself with installed PUPS, you can always call your local malware removal experts at Geek Easy Computers for assistance.  We are always available to make your technology easy!

 

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