What are PUPs or Potentially Unwanted Programs?

Potentially unwanted programs deliver various intrusive advertisements. Coupons, banners, pop-ups, and other ads are generated using tools that enable placement of third-party graphical content on any site. Moreover, intrusive advertisements redirect users to websites with malicious code/scripts that download/install malware. It is advised to remove all PUPS and perform a thorough scan of your entire system.

Bundling of Potentially Unwanted Programs (PUPs)

Many programs, plug-ins/add-ons, toolbars, & browsers’ extensions are added  and install with other free applications. The process is called “bundling“. Due to the careless behavior and lack of knowledge of many users, PUPs can infiltrate systems without the user’s permission. “Bundling” is the stealth installation of third-party apps together with regular (usually free) software. Developers do not properly disclose installations of PUPs. The defeneition of PUPs may also differ between different security vendors and thus, based on that definition, PUPs may or may not be remvoed/detected by your security software.  If detection of PUPs is your anti-virus program is disabled/excluded, then PUPs may go undetected by your antivirus.

Avoiding Potentially Unwanted Applications (PUAs)

The key to your online safety is caution. Therefore, to prevent any online safety/security issue, always pay close attention when you are browsing the Internet and be very careful when downloading/installing any software. Intrusive ads typically look legitimate, however, they are distinguishable, since most redirect to survey, gambling, pornography, and other dubious sites. If your browser is continously experiencing redirects, then immediately kill all dubious browser plug-ins applications and perform a thorough scan of your system.

If you are seeing some or all of the undermentioned signs, then probably your system is infected by malware.

  • Advertisements appear in places they shouldn’t be.
  • The homepage of your web browser has mysteriously changed without your consent.
  • The websites that your visit frequently are not displaying properly.
  • Website links are redirecting to the sites that are not what you were expecting.
  • Popups for fake updates or rogue software are appearing.
  • Unwanted programs showing in your installed applications in the Control Panel.

Always try to download software directly from the vendor’s official site. When you are installing an application, always go for the custom/advanced installationand deselect everything that is not required/familiar. Especially keep an eye for optional software that you do not want to download and install. If you do not trust an application, then do not install it. Have a close look at the End User’s License Agreement (EULA) and other related documentation. During the installation of a program, read everything on the screen before clicking on the “Install/Next” button.

If you think there is a problem with your computer due to a PUP, We recommend following the steps in this guide or contacting one of the online tech support experts such as (JustAnswer.com) who may assist you remotely in addressing the issue.

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Kevin Arrows


Kevin is a dynamic and self-motivated information technology professional, with a Thorough knowledge of all facets pertaining to network infrastructure design, implementation and administration. Superior record of delivering simultaneous large-scale mission critical projects on time and under budget.
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