Potentially Unwanted Programs (PUP) and Potentially Unwanted Applications (PUA) tend not to exhibit the behavior of viruses as such, but instead are programs which have got onto a user’s computer without their consent. Typically, this refers to programs that come auto-opted in when installing another program, a process known as software bundling.
TotalAV defines PUP as programs that behave in an unwanted manner. This could include programs that serve up aggressive advertising messages, use scare tactics to get users to upgrade the software to fix problems with their computer that perhaps don’t even exist.
Potentially Unwanted Programs aren’t necessarily malicious, in some cases, there are concerns over what potentially unwanted programs do with user data – perhaps from a point of view that they could be considered to be spyware. Typically they end up on user computers by being bundled with good software downloads or come pre-installed on a brand new computer. Sometimes referred to as Bloatware or Crapware.
Signs of Potentially Unwanted Programs
- Auto-checked downloads bundled when downloading other software
- Apps that are pre-installed on new computers that don’t have a useful purpose
- Apps with aggressive pop-ups that encourage payment upgrades
How to stay protected against Potentially Unwanted Programs
Using TotalAV Real-Time Protection will prevent PUP from getting on your computer in the first place. Running regular Anti-virus scans, either manually or through a defined schedule, will ensure any PUP on your computer is stopped and removed. Also when downloading software, take time to read the download and installation screens carefully o ensure no other software is being bundled.