Recently I talked about the ever growing Mac market share –registering 16% global growth YoY – in an overall decreasing PC market –contracting global at 12% YoY. In the same post we saw how, malware growth was up 286% in the same time period. In this post, second in this Mac-focused series, I would like to highlight a lesser known evil which we do not even classify as malware, yet is having just as a dramatic impact on user experience and business productivity: Potentially Unwanted Applications (PUAs) a.k.a. Potentially Unwanted Programs (PUPs) / adware.
PUAs generally come from third-party download sites. The software you download from such sites can include both the software that you want and adware you may not necessarily want, but you inadvertently accept during the installation process, as it is commonly accepted as non-malware.
“PUAs generally include software that displays intrusive advertising, or tracks the user's Internet usage to sell information to advertisers, injects its own advertising into web pages that a user looks at…Unwanted programs often include no sign that they are installed, and no uninstall or opt-out instructions”