PUP (short for Potentially Unwanted Program) refers to an unwanted program or piece of software that may be installed along with the program or software that a user actually wants on their system.
A PUP is not classified as malware, but rather as adware, spyware, crapware, etc. What marks the distinction in classification is that users are ‘informed’ about the PUP via the EULA (end user license agreement). But since most people rush past the EULA, it makes it easier for those who push PUPs to have a ‘legal out'; after all, the information was literally spelled out in the EULA.
A rather ‘visible’ form of PUPs are the software installers that come with offers of extra ‘goodies’ such as toolbars, ‘search’ apps, etc., making it a good idea not to rush through any installation process!
- By Akemi Iwaya on 01/23/14