How Potentially Unwanted Programs (PUPs) Can Compromise Cyber security

What Is PUP in cyber security?

The term Potentially Unwanted Programs or PUPs in the cyber security world refers to software programs that contain possibly malicious adware or cause other unspecified objectives like installation of toolbars or nefarious programs.

PUPs: The Voluntarily Downloaded Software That Can Harm Your Computer

The title was given to this type of software to distinguish it from malicious software (malware) because PUPs are voluntarily downloaded by computer users who don’t read and/or fully understand the true terms and conditions of download agreements that may include installation of other programs whether wanted or not.

PUPs as Adwares: How They Infect Electronic Devices and Compromise Cyber Security

Typically, PUPs are adwares that appear as coupons, underlined words, advertising banners, or annoying pop-up ads on websites that users frequently visit. The intention of these ads is to entice users to click on them, subsequently installing malicious content onto electronic devices. This content may include optimization tools, web browser toolbars, and other unsafe cyber products that compromise the security of the device.

These crafty PUPs do nothing but generate “pay-per-click” income for the PUPs’ creator from unsuspecting personal computer and hand-held electronic device operators who unknowingly download malicious programs onto their electronics. Most PUPS get into electronic systems via bundled installations of “freeware” software, PDF creators, download managers and video streaming or recording.

A lot of PUPs are bundled within customized installer tools on download websites like Brothersoft, Softonic and CNET that enable computer users to download various computer software programs.

Indications of Potentially Unwanted Programs (PUPs) on Electronic Devices:

PUPs can be difficult to detect. Ransomware, for instance, displays a pop-up window on the computer screen, demanding a specified amount of money to restore encrypted data. Other symptoms of PUPs are not as noticeable and include the following indications:

Injection of advertising banners within website pages you visit.

Website text is randomly turned into hyperlinks. hyperlinks are links to another location, document or file that are typically activated by clicking on a word or image that is highlighted on the computer screen.

Slow running computer (not caused by running too many programs or lack of hard drive or memory space).

Slow internet connection.

Frozen or unresponsive browser.

Cursor drags 10 seconds behind the mouse.

Different home page continually appears.

New toolbars appear that you can’t remove.

Pop-ups that recommend fake software or software updates.

Bombardment with pop-up ads; close one and another appears even when you’re not online.

Browser redirects repeatedly redirect users from the website they’re trying to access to a different one.

Lots of bounced back email (indicative of having been hacked).

Unfamiliar icons appear on desktop.

Constant computer crashing.

Cell phones and other electronic devices are not immune and are vulnerable to mobile malware, the symptoms of which may include short battery life (drains quickly) or cell phone bills that include charges for things you didn’t buy or messages you didn’t send.

Botnets and other types of malware are nearly impossible to detect unless you run a cyber security scan. Computer users can protect electronic devices. How?  from land and mobile cyber threats by using anti-malware security software designed specifically for personal computers, smartphones, tablets, and other devices. Safeguards exist specifically designed to keep Android devices from infected applications, unauthorized surveillance, and nefarious malware.

Inasmuch as Intel uncovers 245 new cyber threats per minute. It has never been more important to utilize up-to-date cyber security software to protect electronic devices from malicious infections that can turn one’s life upside down or completely halt business operations.

If you suspect that your electronic devices have been infected by PUPs or other malicious software, it is important to take swift action to protect your data and privacy. You can seek help from cyber security consulting services in Toronto, such as Eyes Everywhere. Our team of professionals can help you locate, identify, and eradicate PUPs and other malware from your devices. Contact us today to safeguard your digital assets

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