Avoiding Potentially Unwanted Programs

The key to avoiding the Potentially Unwanted Programs (PUP) – lies within YOU.
–PC Pitstop.

Avoiding Potentially Unwanted Programs

by Jim Hillier for Daves Computer Tips

What we are talking about here are PUPs, not the loveable, furry, 4-legged kind commonly referred to as ‘man’s best friend’. We are talking about those pesky critters that seem to sneak into the operating system when no-one is looking, commonly known as Potentially Unwanted Programs.

I realize we’ve already published plenty of articles relating to this very topic but it is something which definitely bears repeating, because, quite frankly, as with common advice regarding passwords and overall risk management, too many people do not appear to be listening.

The first point that needs to be re-enforced is that the majority of these PUPs are installed by the user. Inadvertently, yes, but that’s little consolation after the fact. Piggybacking these pesky programs with genuine software has become pretty much standard practice so the first step in avoiding them is to proceed on the assumption that everything you are about to install comes bundled with something. The second step is to be vigilant during the installation process and not just click through without checking every single screen.

There are some instances where unscrupulous developers surreptitiously bundle toolbars and other crap without providing any indication or options to decline, making these PUPs nigh on impossible to avoid, but, in my experience, they are generally the exception rather then the rule. The vast majority of developers will provide the end user with the necessary options to avoid any bundled extras, although, in many cases, they will still do their very best to obscure them. Some of these PUPs can hook deep into the system and be a real pain in the you know what to get rid of completely, so avoidance is the much preferred option.

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These excerpts are shared with permission from davescomputertips.com.

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