Potentially Unwanted Programs
The Internet is filled with free programs and tools making promises they fall short of, or that once installed performs unwanted acts. Potentially unwanted programs or PUPs are scattered throughout the Internet, whether a website offering or an inclusion in a freeware download. Like adware
and legitimate software programs, PUPs may track (aka spy) surfing habits, collect data and send to a third party, even though some claim to gather non-evasive data. Well, you really cannot prove the collection doesn't infringe on your privacy. PUPs are sometimes called 'greyware' because they fall in a grey area and do not necessarily or upfront pose a security threat. However, if evasive data falls in the wrong hands, it can threaten security of your identity and financial stability. PUPS may negatively impact system performance and instability your operating system.
Sometimes through missteps of our own or someone else using our system, a program is installed that you want removed. Maybe it didn't meet expectations or is negatively impacting system performance. All programs having good intent should readily offer an uninstall feature for easy removal. In cases where the PC user finds it difficult to find let alone remove the components engineering a program, this should raise a red flag and incite the need to remove aggressively. An example program and PUP resisting removal is PUP.wxDfast
. Forums are filled with frustrated PC users questioning if it is indeed a virus or malicious program and why their Internet security didn't block the download. Well, PUPs are a grey area, which is why some security researchers call it 'greyware' and rather than label it malicious, they classify it only as 'potentially unwanted'. However, if the complaints are true and PUP.wxDfast is corrupting viral restore points to obfuscate and rejuvenate its program, then it has crossed the line and is indeed showing its true colors of being malicious.
If you are highly skilled editing the Windows Registry or are able to follow the technical jargon and mind-twisting instructions posted on a security forum, you may be able to manually unwanted files buried throughout your system. However, be very careful not to delete the wrong file and don't forget to reset viral restoration points as well as restore corrupted files. If a mistake is made, you could corrupt the hard drive and lose valuable data. While you may have backed up your data and programs, hopefully you stored the important and necessary product keys required to reinstall some software programs and apps. To be safe, we highly recommend you use a professional anti-malware solution able to find and safely remove malware without causing harm to your hard drive and able to restore corrupted OS files and components.
How Can You Detect Potentially Unwanted Programs?
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