“Junkware” is a relatively new term, but it is getting quite popular. If you are familiar with our description of “malware”, then you know that there is some ambiguity in using this term for describing quite different groups of computer programs that are not always malicious.
One meaning, that describes all the multitude of malicious programs, is precise. Another is very popular today but incorrect. It replaced the same imprecise term “spyware” used for describing all unwanted programs yesterday.
While we are using term “malware” in a version that is popular today among our visitors, here we introduce you a new term that is a better match for describing user-unwanted non-malicious software.
“Junkware” is a term that everyone can easily understand and relate it to unwanted software. Essentially, this definition is very close to PUP (potentially unwanted program). However, this term is invented by anti-virus software manufacturers and describes only some imwamted programs that are not malicious.
Term “junkware” is invented by people. It originated from OEM computer sales that use preinstalled third-party freeware for making bare bone computers looking more valuable. Most of these programs were inferior to similar freeware products, and computer users started to call these additions junkware. Today, this term is extended, and it will possibly end the ambiguous use of term “malware” for describing unwanted programs in the future.
Why junkware is installed?
For OEM sellers, it is an opportunity to offer something that looks better than bare bone computer system. For free program developers, it is a chance to introduce their products on the early stage of the development even if it is quite raw. For advertisers and promoters, it is a chance to influence your purchases. Once the way of distribution does not break any law, it is legitimate. You should be aware of this side and be prepared to resist unwanted installation.
How to prevent installing junkware on your computer?
Use a free junkware blocker called “Unchecky”. This program removes checkmarks out of checkboxes related to junkware automatically and blocks servers that are used for junkware installation. While it cannot provide full protection against deceptive installation, Unchecky will save you a lot of time and trouble related to junkware removal.
Why anti-virus products do not block and remove junkware?
Anti-virus software is designed to protect you against serious security threats and save as much system resources for you as possible. Junkware often consists of legitimate programs that do not present immediate danger to your computer system. Even if you do not like such programs, there is no reason for your antivirus to condemn and block non-malicious software.
Most of computer users are not well familiar with manual steps needed for removing adware or fixing browsers infected with toolbars and rogue search engines. People also have problems with removing ad-supported downloaders and registry cleaners that are set to resist removal in various ways. These problems make non-malicious software equal to virus infection from the user’s point of view, but it is difficult to describe all such programs as malicious. Term “junkware” helps to identify this group.
Finally, we come out with this description: junkware is useless software that cannot hurt your computer and cannot benefit you in any significant way as well. This term describes all programs that most of computer users want to remove. It is important to note that junkware is often installed without user’s consent, and no one likes deceptive ways used for installing unwanted programs. Term “junkware” is getting popular because it helps to specify particular group of malware instead of using terms like “malware” or “spyware” for this purpose while both of this terms have different meaning.