Which of the following is not malware?

Which of the following is not malware?

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In the digital age, malware has become a prevalent threat to computer systems and the security of personal information. Malware, short for malicious software, encompasses a wide range of malicious programs designed to infiltrate, damage, or gain unauthorized access to computer systems. However, not everything that may seem suspicious or unwanted on a computer is necessarily malware. In this article, we will explore various types of software and determine which of the following is not malware.


Definition: Adware is a type of software that displays advertisements on a user’s computer or mobile device. It is often bundled with freeware or shareware programs and can be seen as an annoyance rather than a direct threat to the system’s security.

While adware can be intrusive and unwanted, it does not typically cause harm to the computer or compromise personal data. Its primary purpose is to generate revenue for developers by displaying targeted advertisements.

Legitimate Software

Definition: Legitimate software refers to programs that are authorized and legally distributed by reputable developers. These software applications serve various purposes, ranging from productivity tools to entertainment software.

Legitimate software is not considered malware as it is intended to provide useful functionality and does not pose a threat to the user’s computer or personal information. However, it is essential to download software from trusted sources to avoid inadvertently installing malicious programs disguised as legitimate software.

Potentially Unwanted Programs (PUPs)

Definition: Potentially Unwanted Programs (PUPs) are software applications that may have some undesirable characteristics or behavior. They often come bundled with other software downloads and may include browser toolbars, adware, or system optimizers.

PUPs are not classified as malware because they do not typically exhibit malicious intent. However, they can still impact the user experience by altering browser settings, displaying unwanted advertisements, or consuming system resources. It is important to exercise caution when installing software and carefully review the installation process to avoid unintentionally installing PUPs.


In summary, while malware poses a significant threat to computer systems and personal information, not everything that appears suspicious or unwanted on a computer is necessarily malware. Adware, legitimate software, and potentially unwanted programs (PUPs) are examples of software that are not classified as malware. It is crucial for users to exercise caution when downloading and installing software from untrusted sources to avoid inadvertently installing malicious programs.


– Norton: https://www.norton.com/
– McAfee: https://www.mcafee.com/

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