Classification

How F-Secure classifies threats

F-Secure categorizes each application or file as Clean, Potentially Unwanted Application, Unwanted Application or Harmful based on the risks it poses to your device or data.

An application suspected of being a Potentially Unwanted Application or an Unwanted Application may go through additional screening, which is detailed in Classifying Potentially Unwanted Applications.

 

Clean

A Clean application does not pose a risk to your device or data.

A Clean application does not have traits or behavior that can be harmful to your device or data.

Example

A word processing application does not perform any actions that are harmful to your device or data.

How the product protects you

The application or file is allowed to run normally.

Potentially Unwanted Applications & Unwanted Applications

A Potentially Unwanted Application (PUA) has behaviors or aspects that can be considered undesirable or unwanted, depending on the user's context.

An Unwanted Application (UA) has a significant number of undesirable or unwanted behaviors or aspects.

A PUA / UA can perform actions that impact:

  • Productivity
  • The device's resources
  • Data security or privacy

A PUA / UA does not meet the strict technical definition of malware.

Example

A network monitoring application may be considered useful to a system administrator using it to monitor an office workstation, but undesirable to the workstation user, whose security and privacy may be impacted.

An application bundle that leverages on the popularity of one application to entice users into installing a second included application, which serves aggressive or annoying ads.

How the product protects you

A warning notification message is displayed before the application or file is allowed to run normally. You can also opt to have the F-Secure product block a PUA.

The application or file is automatically blocked and quarantined. If you are certain you want to keep using the application or file, you can exclude it from further scanning by the product.

Harmful

A Harmful application or file poses a significant risk to your device or data.

A Harmful application or file can perform damaging actions, such as:

  • Stealing personal or system data
  • Secretly manipulating the device or installed applications
  • Completely blocking normal use of the device

Harmful applications or files meet the technical definition of malware.

Example

A ransomware silently encrypts files on the affected device to extort money from the user.

How the product protects you

The application or file is automatically blocked and removed.