Peter Davidson works as a senior business associate helping brands and startups make efficient business decisions and plan proper business strategies. He is a big gadget freak who loves to share his views on the latest technologies and applications. He writes for NoBullying about the top unwanted downloads and how to remove them properly. 

If you ask people what their biggest fear when they are using their computer is, they will often reply that getting a virus is something they want to avoid. A virus can do many things to your computer. It can cause pop up ads to constantly appear, it can slow down the computer and it can also allow private information to be stolen from your computer. There is not much good that can be said about getting a virus or malware on your computer via unwanted downloads, and most people would rather not have to deal with it.

Computer experts refer to software that is put on a computer that is not wanted by the computer user as potentially unwanted programs (pups). Pups is a very nice term for these pieces of software that can cause so much harm. Pups often end up on a computer because the user of the computer allows them to be downloaded. If the person realized that these pups were going to cause problems, they would avoid them. What does a person have to do to avoid these programs?

Start with anti-virus software

The first line of defence for a person is antivirus software. When you install an anti-virus program, you are giving your computer some protection. The software can warn you if a download is potentially dangerous before you download it. The software can also block malicious software from being installed on your computer.

Anti-virus software can help the pups off of your computer. It does have limitations.

  • It does not block all the malicious software
  • It will not always block pups that you have allowed to be placed on your computer
  • It has to be updated regularly to work properly. If you do not update the software, it is possible the unwanted software will find ways around it.

Learn about downloading software

Many people will download the software without realizing what they are doing. When you download software that you need for your computer, you will have to go through several steps. One of those steps is reading the terms and conditions of the download. Most people do not take the time to read this information and that is how the software can add other programs that are not wanted onto the computer.

One of the most common things that happen when downloading software from the internet is a box that is automatically checked that says the user agrees to download some other program in addition to the software that they want to download. Many websites that provide games include toolbars that will be downloaded along with the games.

If the person does not uncheck the box that authorizes the installation of the additional software, it will end up on their computer. The key is to read all of the information that is provided during the downloading process and make sure that you uncheck any boxes that you do not want to happen. That will allow you to get the software that you want, without adding things to your computer that you do not want.

Top software that also has Pups

There are plenty of programs that will add these pups when you download them. It will surprise people at the names involved in the software that allows this to happen. It is often the software that you trust and that is commonly used that can be the most troublesome. When you use these programs, make sure you read all of the fine print carefully.

  • Adobe – This software adds programs such as McAfee security scan plus when you download or when you install any updates to the Adobe flash player.
  • Google Earth – If you don’t want the Google Chrome Browser, be careful when adding this software to your computer
  • Skype – This can change your default browser and search engine to Internet Explorer and Bing.
  • Java – You will not only get Java, but you will also probably get the Ask toolbar

The biggest issue is that these programs and others like them can be very useful. You can download them, but you have to be careful and make sure there are no boxes checked that will cause problems.

If you do get these pups on your computer, you will need to work hard to get rid of them. You can uninstall the software. Once you have done that, you need to go to the internet browsers that you use and go to the tools. Once there you can find add-ons and you can find the plugins that were included in the unwanted software. They can be deleted or disabled. That will help you keep your computer running the way that you want.