Beware of Adware and PUP's, (Potentially Unwanted Programs)
Beware of adware and PUP, (Potentially unwanted programs) when downloading good, legitimate programs from the internet. What happens is that when you are downloading the program you've paid for or that you've been looking for, a notice will come up asking if you're sure you'd want an additional program that is available too. If you're not paying attention when clicking through the dialog boxes you might think that it's asking if you're sure whether you want to install the legitimate program, which you do, BUT that isn't what it's asking. It's asking whether you want the adware or PUP program that wants to tag along with the legitimate program that you want or need.
Once the installation is complete the user is infected. The PUP proceeds to interject itself into internet options, browser settings and even into the system registry, thus showing a different default search engine. The search engine itself is probably not malicious, but it can allow malicious programs into your computer without you being aware of what's happening.
I must have downloaded something on Firefox some time in the past and without my realizing it, I also got a PUP which turned out to be a search engine that I didn't ask for. The name began with a T, and it was something like Tovia . I do not remember the actual name of it and I don't intend to look for it, for I don't want to get it into my computer again.
I noticed that it was always the search engine on Firefox . Even when I went into Firefox and tried several times to change the search engine, it was to no avail, for the one that was there was the one always showing up. Finally, I realized that I should look under the Control-Panel for it and when I found it I uninstalled it, but even after I restarted my computer it was still in control. I wasn't able to get rid of it.
Eventually, my internet security suite began to tell me that I had PUP's and it wasn't able to quarantine them. It wasn't until I took my computer to my friend, Mark, that he showed me that the search engine in and of itself probably wasn't malicious , but it was allowing many other programs in that were and that contained viruses.
He was able to remove all of them. From now on I plan on reading thoroughly the information that come up on my screen whenever I download any other program from the net. My preference would be to have a disk in hand to download that way, but I know that isn't always feasible.
If you ever find a program that you try to uninstall but it still resides on your computer you should take it in to get it removed before it allows worse things to be installed on your computer.
So make sure you pay attention and read any dialog boxes that pop up during installation of a program that you want from the internet. If it asks if you want to proceed or decline, it's best to decline. If it shuts down the download process then you can always start it again, but if it downloads a PUP that will be very difficult for you to get rid of unless you are a computer guru yourself.
Image Credit » NONEhttp://pixabay.com/en/drawing-monitor-search-surf-196803/ by, geralt