If your computer’s web browser is redirecting to Traffic-media.co, it is likely doing so because you have adware on your PC. Traffic-media.co is a Russian advertising network that specializes in advertising but has not gotten a lot of customers, so it attempts to gain more traffic by forcing visitors to its business.

Tricks such as these are not new within the advertising industry. Some of the most successful gaming apps over the past decade cheated their way to the top: Game of War started as an advertising campaign that managed to take advantage of hacking the advertising networks is was signed up to use and then force browser redirects so it would gain all that traffic for free. Since the advertising networks that were showing these ads were independent and not anywhere near the size of Google, they knew about the redirects but did not have the security expertise to do anything about it.

Sadly, this type of advertising abuse has lead to an immense rise in ad blocking software being used, which hurts every good and honest publication that tries to run an online publication that is supported by advertising. Even though many suggest that advertising is not necessary, in reality, it would be tough to make a living from subscriptions alone in today’s day and age unless your audience immensely loved you; and since most traffic is coming from search engines where people want answers quick and fast, it does not seem as though subscriptions are going to be the best answer for a means of consuming content going forward.

Thankfully some applications exist that make it easier to remove malware from your computer. When it comes to adware, there are dedicated programs such as AdwCleaner that can remove just about anything that is considered adware. If you were to try running an antivirus scan with Windows Defender and you are using a version of the Windows 10 operating system, you still would not be likely to have it removed. One day, when Microsoft is ready, presumably they will begin including adware as malware that is detected and deleted during a standard Windows Defender scan.

Tips to Avoid Malware in the Future

If you have malware on your computer, you can always install an antimalware program and run a scan to try to remove it. But some experts suggest that even if you do that, it is not a given that all malware can be removed—once it gets access to your system, some of its associated files may prove close to impossible to extract.

So naturally, that means you should try preventing the malware from getting on your computer in the first place.

Here are some of the most common ways you can avoid getting malware on your PCs:

  • Be cautious when downloading. You can anticipate finding malware on some websites more than others. If you are using a reliable web browser, it should already provide timely protection by alerting you to sites littered with threats upon visiting them—do not ignore those warnings. What’s more, try not to visit any websites that you think maybe untrustworthy: Torrenting sites may offer handy legal files, and the founders are not necessarily evil, but you need to remember that random people around the world are uploading each of those files, including the directories of such sites riddled with illegal movie files. A notorious niche for malware is sites that host or share torrents for this reason—not everyone is interested in helping you download free files without getting something in return. Often that return comes in the form of malware tucked away within the files you download, tricking you into thinking that they are only movies.
  • Install (full paid versions of) third-party antimalware programs if you can. If your operating system is not providing adequate protection from malware threats, you ought to look into third-party programs. They will not always protect you in real-time for free, but the paid versions often do. That means if the program detects the file you are about to download is malware, it lets you know about it with a warning. At this stage, Microsoft Windows does not automatically block potentially unwanted programs, so third-party protection for malware may still be sensible to use.
  • Keep all data and personal information safe. The malware only becomes a problem when it nestles its way into your operating system, and in the precise location that its developer had set out for it. Simply being on your computer does not necessarily mean you encounter computer woes; it is what it does from that position that dictates your computer’s outcome. Moreover, not all malware is trying to cause computer problems. Sometimes it wants to snoop on your data instead. To keep prying malware at bay, look into ways of keeping your data safe, such as using file encryption. Windows 10 comes with EFS for encrypting individual files and also BitLocker encryption for the full disk.
  • Keep your software up to date. It does not matter what software you have; if it is outdated, then it may also be insecure. Simply being outdated software does not necessarily open up new avenues for vulnerabilities. Rather, new updates potentially close old vulnerabilities. It can be said with certainty that your software is safe to continue using if you know there are no vulnerabilities. However, if antivirus or manufacturers find vulnerabilities, updates are critical. If you do not want to follow the news every day, it is best to keep updating and know that you are safe. That means ensuring your operating systems are updated with their regular over-the-air software update rollouts. For Windows users, that means keeping the Windows Update automatic updates enabled, so the automatic updates can arrive when Microsoft has them prepared for your machine. Additionally, only uninstall a Windows update if you know your PC has an issue with its current software version.
  • Keep networks secure. All your computers (desktops, laptops, smartphones), and other peripherals such as printers, when connected to WiFi, are often connected to the same network. Ensure a secure network with a password. Otherwise, your WiFi connection will be open. The best security today is with WPA or WPA2 encryption. You typically do not have much to worry about here, as all competitive WiFi providers automatically implement it. But make sure it stays that way after you begin using it by not disabling the encryption. 
  • Do not use open WiFi. You have heard the warning: stay away from that open WiFi you get at airports, unless you need it. The idea behind this warning is because the connection is considered public that it also means people with malicious intent have easy access to it. Thus, the information on your smartphones, tablets, and laptops cannot be properly protected with open WiFi connections.

The following tutorial demonstrates how to remove the malware from your computer.

Method One: How to Reset Browser to Default Settings and Clean Up Browser

Google Chrome offers buttons for resetting the web browser and also cleaning up the web browser. These two settings are beneficial for removing any malware that other scans from Windows Defender and other third-party software could not remove.

Google Chrome

Here is how you can reset the browser settings from the More menu in Google Chrome:

1. Click on the More button and then click on the Settings link from the menu.

2. Scroll down and then click on Advanced at the bottom of the page.

3. Under the Reset and cleanup heading, click on the Restore settings to their original defaults link.

4. From the Reset settings overlay, click on the Reset settings button.

5. Under the Reset and clean up heading once again, click on the Clean up computer link.

6. Next to where it says Find and remove harmful software, click on the Find button.

7. You can now close the Google Chrome web browser if you like.

Mozilla Firefox

Here is how you can reset the browser settings from the More menu in Firefox:

1. Click on the More button and then click on the Help link.

2. Click on the Troubleshooting Information link.

3. Click on the Refresh Firefox button.

4. Click on the Refresh Firefox button when you get the confirmation dialog box.

5. You can now close the Firefox browser if you like.

Microsoft Edge

Here is how you can reset the Microsoft Edge browser settings directly from the Settings application in Windows 10:

1. Open the Settings app.

2. Click on the Apps icon from the Windows Settings menu.

3. From Apps’ left side, click on Apps & features and then scroll down the right side until you get to Microsoft Edge, click on it once to reveal its menu and then click on the Advanced options link.

4. Click on the Reset button.

5. You can now close the web browser or Settings app if you like.

Method Two: How to Remove ShopAtHome.com Adware with AdwCleaner

1. Download the AdwCleaner program from the Malwarebytes website.

2. If you get a message from your web browser that says anything along the lines of “This type of file can harm your computer. Do you want to keep the adwcleaner.exe file anyway?” click on the Keep button.

3. Open the AdwCleaner program.

4. If you are prompted by User Account Control, click on the Yes button.

5. Select Dashboard from the menu and then click on Scan now. (click to enlarge screenshot below)

AdwCleaner was always a very reliable adware removal tool, and it is now owned by the same company that owns Malwarebytes, so the quality is likely even better than before. It comes with a similar interface as Malwarebytes, but the two are completely separate tools.
6. In a short while, the scan will be complete. (click to enlarge screenshot below)

AdwCleaner scans typically don’t take long to complete. You can see the threats showing up in real-time.
7. Check all of the boxes next to the threats that you want removed from the computer, and then click on Clean & Repair. (click to enlarge screenshot below)

The scan will pick up all potentially unwanted programs, but you don’t have to remove each of them. If you aren’t sure, then keep all programs selected and delete them all to give your PC the best chance at clean health.
8. Malwayebytes Adwcleaner then gives you the chance to clean and restart later or now. Choose to clean and restart now to remove the adware immediately. The web browser will not open where you left off upon rebooting, so save any work you have open.

9. When the computer restarts, AdwCleaner automatically opens to show you the results. You can view the log file as well if you like. (click to enlarge screenshots below)

You can now close the AdwCleaner program and continue using your computer if you like.

Method Three: How to Remove Traffic-media.co Redirect Using Malwarebytes

If scanning with the Windows Security antimalware protection doesn’t remove the redirect, you can try installing third-party antimalware tools instead, such as Malwarebytes, and see if that removes the redirect instead.

Note: Malwarebytes also has an application for smartphones that run on Android and iOS. Here is a tutorial for how to install Malwarebytes on Android; the iOS version will be very similar apart from needing to use the Apple App Store in place of the Google Play Store. You will not have any problems finding it because your iOS software only comes with the Apple App Store.

1. Visit the Malwarebytes website and then click on the Free Download link.

2. If your web browser shows a message that says this type of file can harm your computer. Do you want to keep the executable file anyway?, click on the Keep button.

3. If prompted by User Account Control and asked: Do you want to allow this app to make changes to your device?, click on the Yes button.

4. Select between Personal computer and Work computer for where you are installing Malwarebytes ad then click on the Continue button.

5. Click on the Agree and Install button to accept the license agreement.

6. Click on the Finish button when the Malwarebytes installation is complete.

7. The Malwarebytes interface should open on its own. If it doesn’t, click on its application that is now on your desktop.

8. Click on the Scan Now button to bring the scan.

9. Malwarebytes will then take a few moments to run a quick scan of the computer.

10. Place a tick on the boxes next to the malware threats and then click on the Quarantine Selected button.

11. If Malwarebytes hasn’t solved the malware on your computer, you can visit their website and contact them to let them know of the issue that their software is not yet fixing.

12. You can now close the Malwarebytes application if you like.

Method Four: How to Repair Browser Settings Using CCleaner

You can use third-party tools such as CCleaner to repair the web browser settings. This is optional but should be done if your redirect keeps coming back or isn’t yet completely fixed.

1. If your web browser shows a message that says “this type of file can harm your computer. Do you want to keep the executable file anyway?,” click on the Keep button.

2. If prompted by User Account Control and asked: “Do you want to allow this app to make changes to your device?,” click on the Yes button.

3. Click on the Install button.

Note: CCleaner may offer an additional program for you to install. Choose to check or uncheck the box for installing any additional programs.

4. Check or uncheck the box for viewing the release notes based on your preference, and then click on the Run CCleaner button.

5. Click on the Analyze button.

6. Click on the Run Cleaner button once the analysis is completed.

7. The scan is now complete.

8. Click on Tools from the left menu and then click on Startup and looks through the tabs for any startup programs that have the word “search” in the title or name.

9. If you find any, click on the Disable and then Delete buttons.

10. You can now close the CCleaner application if you like.

That’s all.


Do I Have to Complete All the Methods Before the Malware Is Removed?

No, you do not. Your computer will often be removed from all malware by using one of the methods available. It’s when you try one method, and the malware remains that you should try another method in the tutorial.

Are the Steps Listed in Order of What Should Work Better?

Not necessarily. We often put the Windows Security before third-party applications because if you use Windows, you might prefer solving the problem without having installed another program on the computer. Windows Security is also free to use for your duration of using the operating system, which could mean more convenience to you.

Nevertheless, if you prefer using third-party programs, or your computer is not running Windows, then you can skip the Windows Security method and try using the third-party program recommendations instead.

Do I Have to Complete All Parts of the Windows Security Tutorial?

No, you do not. We have listed all the different ways you can run an antimalware scan with Windows Security for your convenience, but you only need to choose one of the methods to remove the malware.

Sometimes you may need to be able to get access to all options of running an antimalware scan—especially if your computer is currently being affected by the malware—which is why we have listed all the ways you can run scans with Windows Security.

Why Do You Have a Tutorial for Android but Not for iOS?

Since Android is currently the more open operating system of the two—and therefore potentially more susceptible to malware—it makes sense that in theory, more people will potentially get malware on Android than iOS at this time. What’s more, you also get far more applications to choose from on the Google Play Store than with Apple’s App Store because Android has more users.

That said, the only reason Android is more open is that people choose to open it—it does not automatically come that way out of the box. So we are not necessarily suggesting that iOS is naturally more secure than Android.

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