Anti Malware Computer Software


The Potentially Unwanted Programs that we're talking about are, generally speaking, tool bars, pop-ups, home pages, and search engines that install themselves on your computer, replacing your existing default ones. For the most part they are not dangerous but they are extremely irritating – and worse, they might make your PC's security more vulnerable to attacks by other types of malware. In order to protect yourself from pop-up ads, you need to know how it found its way on to your computer in the first place.

Most Potentially Unwanted Programs come bundled with another software program or download. It really doesn't matter if this is something you've paid good money for, if it's a free upgrade from a trusted and reputable brand, or something of a slightly more dubious nature – PUPs aren't discriminatory and attach themselves to downloads of all shapes and sizes. Furthermore some companies are completely oblivious to the fact that their product is packaged with a PUP that displays popups, whilst others don't seem to mind letting a Potentially Unwanted Program associate themselves with their offering.

If all this sounds a little underhand, it's actually the silver lining of the cloud. Because the programmers who create PUPs don't consider their program to be malware (technically speaking, it's not), they will announce the presence of a Potentially Unwanted Program in the End User License Agreement – or T's & C's – that you are asked to read and agree to when you’re downloading something.

And this is where so many of us get caught out. If like the majority of people you dash through the tedious wording of a License Agreement, whilst you might be saving a couple of minutes, you could be missing out on your best chance of preventing something nasty from installing itself on your computer.

And it's not just Potentially Unwanted Programs that are mentioned in EULAs – other more serious forms of malware sometimes get referred to as well. But if you're not reading the small print, you wouldn't know that, would you? It's true that this wording can often be deliberately confusing and the programmer may have pre-checked boxes for you, but just a few minutes of your time could mean the difference between infecting your computer with a PUP – or with malware – and keeping it safe and free from annoying tool bars and the like.

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