KoolSpan U: Weekly Word Wednesday – Potentially Unwanted Program (PUP)

Have you ever intended to download a program and somehow ended up downloading more than you expected? If so, you already know that a potentially unwanted program (PUP) can mean that you suddenly have a new toolbar or search agent on your desktop. McAfee, the internet security company, coined the term back when many companies began producing these PUPs as opposed to offering them as a separate download. PUPs can be types of spyware, adware, dialers, games, social networking tools, and more.

It is quite common for most people to not take the time to read download agreements thoroughly, if at all, which is unfortunate as the agreements many times give consent to download programs on top of the main program that the user wishes to acquire. Security companies like McAfee allow PUPs to get through the system because they cannot be sure if users really do want them, or if they have just not read the agreement, as opposed to viruses which are blocked immediately. The lesson to be learned here is that despite being able to rely on security and encryption hardware and software like Koolspan’s TrustChip, users often need to dive into the details of download agreements in order to control their devices.