Join , subscribers and get a daily digest of news, geek trivia, and our feature articles. Malware is a type of malicious software that infects your computer without your permission. Note that these programs do absolutely nothing good on your computer — they slow it down, track you, clutter the system, and show you additional advertisements. The key difference is how a potentially unwanted program arrives.
How does a PUA (Potentially Unwanted Application) work?
Malware, Trojans, Bugs — these very words strike fear in the heart of all of us, evoking images of lines of falling code, skulls and crossbones. These malicious programs are the filth of the Internet, the proof that with every useful technology there is an equal and opposite piece of garbage that at times could have adverse effects on your system. A potentially unwanted program PUP is exactly what it sounds like; software that you may or may not want clogging up your system. PUPs are similar to malware in that they cause problems when downloaded and installed, but what makes a PUP different is that when you download one, you are doing it with your consent. The term PUP was first coined as a means of defining this downloadable adware or crapware as something other than malicious software. However, they are often annoying, creating new toolbars in your web browser for shopping sites, changing your search provider from Google to Bing without reason, popping up ads constantly or giving you regular weather updates from Swaziland.
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. The term was created by McAfee, the Internet Security company, because marketing firms objected to having their products called "spyware": in the view of such firms, all the information necessary for informed consent is included in the download agreement. It is widely recognized, however, that many if not most users fail to read a download agreement in sufficient detail to understand exactly what they are downloading. You forgot to provide an Email Address.
A potentially unwanted program PUP or potentially unwanted application PUA is software that a user may perceive as unwanted. It is used as a subjective tagging criterion by security and parental control products. Such software may use an implementation that can compromise privacy or weaken the computer's security. Companies often bundle a wanted program download with a wrapper application and may offer to install an unwanted application, and in some cases without providing a clear opt-out method.