• Many of our customers call us complaining about annoying popups, hijacked internet browsing, no internet, or slow internet, and general poor performance. Their assumption is that they have contracted a virus. What is more likely is that they are infected with potentially unwanted programs or PUPS for short. These usually show up when you download something for free. Free games, free toolbars, free weather reports, free music, free screensavers, all come with a price. That price is what I like to refer to as “extra benefits” in the form of unwanted software. And you agreed to installing them when you accepted a free download. This is how they evade your virus protection. Here is a real world example from one of my customer’s infected machines. This is simply the programs list in control panel sorted by install date. As you can see, the InboxAce Internet Explorer Toolbar showed up on May 22. The next day, May 23rd, twenty seven new programs got installed. The PC was unusable from all the activities being performed by all the PUPS. So next time you are about to click a download button you may want to think twice. Is it from a trusted source? Is it safe?