Unwanted apps list

Potentially Unwanted Programs (PUPs) or Potentially Unwanted Applications (PUAs) are programs/applications in the form of toolbars, adware, plugins or other downloads that sneak onto your computer. PUPs are not classified as malware, because they are not always harmful (but pretty much always annoying) and make the companies that bundle them a lot of money, hence the name “potentially” unwanted.

A few years back Emsisoft found that most free antivirus suites were bundled with PUPs. Here were the culprits: Comodo AV Free, Avast Free, Panda AV Free, AdAware Free, Avira Free, and ZoneAlarm Free Antivirus + Firewall, and AVG Free. If you are not paying for the service, you are probably the product.

Many browsers today are actually data collection tools for advertising companies. This is the case for Google Chrome, the largest and most popular browser. By collecting data through your browser, these companies can make money through their advertising partners with targeted ads. We see this same privacy-abusing business model with search engines, email services, and even free mobile apps.

Some PUPs will track your search history or browser behaviour and sell the data to third parties, others compromise your security, affect system performance, and/or hinder productivity. Keep unwanted applications off of your computer by research before installing an app, carefully reading installation options during the setup process and only installing the software and features you need.

Definitely unwanted apps

  • Everything typed on the Android smartphone goes through the keyboard. This means the keyboard has access to those passwords, private emails, documents, and SMS messages typed on your phone. It can even see your credit card information. The perfect Trojan Horse.

  • The Joker family is capable of executing arbitrary code and surreptitiously subscribing victims to paid services. It is a gift that keeps giving. Remove Poco Launcher, 4K Pro Camera and Heart Emoji Stickers if they are in your app list.

  • YouToon – AI Cartoon Effect and Pista – Cartoon Photo Effect (same code base) steal data that attackers use to hack into Facebook accounts.