Microsoft’s current and future operating systems offer protection against so-called potentially unwanted apps (PUAs). You can protect yourself against this for a long time, but you had to take action yourself in the beginning. This protection is now activated automatically.
PUA protection has been available to Windows 10 users since 2018, but initially, you had to use PowerShell. Since version 2004 this has also been part of the security functionality of Windows 10 and now the feature has probably taken the last step: Microsoft writes in a support article, that they will start increasing PUA protection by default from the beginning of August 2021 activate so that you can maintain “the optimal performance of the systems” – and this applies to Windows 10 and in the future also Windows 11.
The whole thing can be found in the Windows settings under Windows Security. There you then open (a new window opens) the app and browser controls, then select the settings for reliability-based protection, and finally, there is the item “Potentially unwanted apps are blocked”.
False Positives May Occur
The function has two levels: you can deactivate the feature completely, on the other hand, you can also set the mode for downloads only. Whether you activate this PUA protection or not, or should do so, depends above all on your usage behavior. Because sometimes PUA protection works too often, which is especially the case with new and just updated applications, and does not necessarily mean that you actually cannot trust them.
Microsoft explains what potentially unwanted applications are as follows: “PUAs are a category of software that can cause your device to run slowly, display unexpected advertisements or, in the worst case, install other software that is harmful or annoying PUA is not malware, but software that you often don’t need and probably don’t want either.”
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