You may have heard of PUPs or seen it on an invoice from us under virus removal. If you’ve ever wondered what a PUP is, here it is: PUP stands for Potentially Unwanted Program, and is considered a form of malware. While they are not quite the same thing as standard viruses, they’re still not a good thing–and as we often say, once a baddie gets in the door, they often weaken it for more “friends” later. This is not a good thing.
PUPs are those programs that scoot in almost completely unannounced through downloads, usually as software bundles. Once installed, they will usually start harassing users aggressively about one thing or another: your memory is low, you have outdated drivers that need to be fixed immediately, your system is insecure, etc. etc. (and as you might have guessed, these are all false and they want money to “fix” said problems). They may also start hijacking your browser to give you funny search engines, ads galore, and redirect you to websites you didn’t ask for. Sadly, even Macs are no longer immune from this problem.
PUPs can be hard to catch before the fact, and even harder to remove after the fact, so I have a couple of recommendations to keep these things off your system. Our Managed Antivirus service, which is part of our Total Care maintenance program, does a great job at keeping the PuPs from infecting your computer. Finally, we highly recommend installing a little program called Unchecky. This small program runs in the background, making sure that nothing tries to slip in when you’re installing something downloaded from the internet. It does a great job, and it’s free!