What Is a PUP (Potentially Unwanted Program)?

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What Is PUP?

Short definition: PUP stands for a Potentially Unwanted Program. This could be any program that is ad-supported or represents a low-level type of threat for your computer system.

Extended Definition:

PUPs (other definition is PUA – Potentially Unwanted Applications) are programs that are potentially unwanted. This means that they are not classified as direct viruses, but their presence on your computer means that they could be just as dangerous as one. The main reason for that is because many of those applications pose an indirect threat to your device and the files in it. This is mainly because of ads that could be shown by these apps, such as:

  • Pop-ups.
  • Browser redirect ads.
  • Banners.
  • Video ads.
  • Highlighted text ads.

These ads may often be risky for your computer as some of them may lead to dangerous websites, like scams or malware infested URLs.

For more definitions, check our Cyber Dictionary.

definition of a potentially unwanted program

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