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A potentially unwanted program (PUP) is a piece of software that is also downloaded when a user downloads a specific program or application. PUP is similar to malware in that it will cause problems when it is downloaded and installed.
This term was coined by Internet security company McAfee to avoid labeling downloadable programs as malware. What makes a PUP different from malware is that the user gives consent to download it. When the user downloads a program from the Internet and neglects to read the download agreement, he or she may fail to understand what other unwanted programs are being downloaded.