NordVPN explain how to manage bloatware

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When you buy a new smartphone, you expect it to come in a pristine condition and work perfectly. Unfortunately, this is not always the case, as handsets may come with pre-installed bloatware that reduces performance and violates your privacy.

“Bloatware is a piece of software you don’t want because it burdens and slows down your device or is simply annoying, as it just uselessly sits on your phone,” explains Daniel Markuson, a digital privacy expert at NordVPN.

“Such apps are usually either pre-installed on new devices by OEMs (original equipment manufacturers) and carriers, get bundled with other downloads, or are injected into your system through malicious sites. Worst of all, users can’t remove them.”

Luckily, a new law by the European Union is about to put a stop to this practice. Big manufacturers like Samsung and LG might be required to provide users with the ability to remove pre-installed apps from new devices.

Even though OEMs will be forced to detach these apps from the core firmware, they will also have to ensure that their phones still function properly even after these pieces get removed completely. But why do manufacturers are so keen on pre-loading their devices with this unwanted software?

What is the purpose of bloatware?

According to Daniel Markuson, manufacturers and carriers might have a few reasons for pre-installing bloatware on your smartphone:

Software developers pay manufacturers to install their products on your device. Manufacturers provide users with “essential functionality” applications, such as calendars, emails, or maps, which also collect user data.

Software or operating system updates push branded solution centers, trialware, or just random add-ons.
Another type of bloatware is one that comes from the web.

You might unknowingly pick it up on malicious websites, download it together with other software, or discover it hidden in software bundles. “This bloatware is more dangerous, as it often contains adware or malware,” the digital privacy expert warns.

NordVPN: Why is bloatware risky?

Apart from showing annoying pop-up ads, malware and adware might also spy on you. Other apps might not be that malicious, but they often take up storage space or use up memory, data, and battery even when not used.

How to avoid bloatware 

Consumers’ ability to uninstall bloatware is only a part of the Digital Services Act. Along with that, it introduces some other measures to curb the dominance of big companies in Europe.

The act is expected to be passed by the end of the year. Until then, you can try to avoid bloatware by doing some research on the manufacturer and vendor when shopping for a device.

To avoid malware and adware, download software only from the original source. Finally, if you notice unwanted programs, remove them right away to keep your device safe and clean.

ABOUT NORDVPN

NordVPN is the world’s most advanced VPN service provider, used by over 14 million internet users worldwide. NordVPN provides double VPN encryption, malware blocking, and Onion Over VPN.

The product is very user-friendly, offers one of the best prices on the market, has over 5,000 servers in 60 countries worldwide, and is P2P-friendly. One of the key features of NordVPN is the zero-log policy. For more information: nordvpn.com.


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