Potentially unwanted programmes (PUPs) are considered unwanted, and there is a possibility that the user may have agreed to download them. These programmes can weaken the security system of the computer. Some companies often offer to download a wanted programme which is wrapped in an unwanted program, which often does not even have clear download options. The antivirus software identifies it as an unwanted programme which may cause adware (unwanted advertisement). It may also sell the users’ internet information to advertising companies. IT may also install a root certificate, which may give hackers access to your banking details.
Few software are PUP because they commit numerous offences against users, while others commit massive transgressions against users. PUPS can track the users’ history and show unwanted adds and programs. When a PUP is installed, it can do the following: it will over-advertise you; it may change your browser provider and provide you with pop-ups; and it may also place advertisements on programs. A PUP can also act as a spyware by stealing users’ data without permission. IT may monitor your keyboard and gain access to your personal information like passwords, etc.
It may also slow down your computer as it eats the system resources as it carries out whatever it is designed to do. PUPS can be hard to remove according to their programing. It is difficult to delete them manually or they may not uninstall completely.
PUPS of various types
PUPS include various types of software, each programmed to damage computers differently. These are three types of PUPS.
Spyware is designed to steal sensitive data from a user or track the browsing usage of a user. Data is stolen and sold to advertising companies or the more valuable information such as banking details is stolen.
Adware is a type of malware that hides in the background and displays advertisements while the programme is running; some of them also monitor your activity to provide relevant ads.
Browser hijackers are those malware programmes that change the settings of a browser without the consent of the user, which leads the user to websites that he does not want to visit or never intended to visit.
How to avoid PUP
A user can avoid PUP by using the advanced installation rather than the default installation. The advanced installation is safer than the default. Users can use tools to scan and remove PUPs. Downloading the software from a trusted source reduces the risk of PUP.
How to remove PUP
Even though the PUPs are really difficult to delete, anti-malware tools can help remove the PUPs. They can detect and remove PUPs automatically. If a user tries to remove PUPS manually, he would have to pay a lot of attention. The programme could be programmed to not be deleted fully. An example would be when the user agrees to terms and conditions, he would end up downloading another PUP. A user must pay attention to the terms and conditions to prevent PUP.