If you’re noticing a Traffic-media.co when you open a web browser—either it is your new homepage on the browser or your computer just redirects to that page when you’re Web surfing—then it’s likely because you have adware on the PC.
Some users may be experiencing this redirect when visiting certain websites. If that’s the case, then there’s nothing you can do about it as the redirect is coming from the ads that are being displayed by the site owner. But if you’re noticing the traffic-media.co redirect continually happening and from many different websites, then it’s more likely the case that you have adware on the computer that needs to be removed.
Sometimes the term “adware” is thrown into the potentially unwanted programs (PUPs) list of annoyances that can occur when installing software packages, but in reality, a better term for it would be definitely unwanted programs (DUPs) because adware will ruin your web browsing experience. You may notice some advertisements on a webpage when you’re doing your regular browsing, and if the site is a good one, there shouldn’t ever be an overabundance of them. But when you have adware, you get all the usual ads from the websites you visit, plus an additional overlay of ads that follow you wherever you go. The adware ads are not associated with the sites that you visit but rather have been deceitfully installed on your computer without you knowing and will earn the developers of the adware revenue each time you allow the ads to continue opening on your computer.
Adware can often be found hidden in torrent files when you’re downloading illegal movies from untrustworthy sources. Adware isn’t usually what you would expect to find bundled in as a PUP when installing software from legitimate sources for free.
Regardless of how the traffic-media.co managed to sneak itself onto your computer, there is a simple way to fix it: by downloading and installing the AdwCleaner program, running it and letting it clean your computer.
What is Adware?
Adware is advertising-supported software. Adware is a type of malware. What distinguishes adware from other advertising-supported software is it is injected into your web browser to take revenue away from the websites you visit, without offering you something in return. The sole purpose of adware is to display advertisements on your computer any way it can.
Software-supported advertising. This is a broad term that can mean two different things. When we consider adware as software-supported advertising, we do that because you will find the adware bundled in with other programs, as though they are single files. While developers may claim the adware they snuck in is what they deserve in return for offering you free files, that is not true. Software bundled in without users’ consent is always spyware and malicious by nature. The only reason those developers have provided the file is so they install some malicious software on your computer without your knowledge or consent. This differs greatly from how other people using the term “software-supported advertising,” namely when you have ads being shown from a program as a means of supporting a free version of the tool that you may be using.
Malware. Adware is always malware. Any programs that display banner ads—or other styles of ads—the same way websites do are not displaying what we should consider adware. Everyone who is offering you something has the right to show some ads around that program or application as a means of making some revenue. That is considered normal behavior from a publisher online or developer of computer software—even Windows 10 OS comes with some ads. Adware is malicious software that does nothing for your computer apart from displaying as many intrusive ads as possible on your computer’s display, which usually happens when you visit a website. Someone who does not know any better may just grow to hate advertisements because they think the ads they are seeing are coming from the websites rather than a malicious adware program that is injected them from the browser.
How to Remove Adware?
If you use your computer lots, you may want to look into keeping an antimalware program running in the background—they prevent malware from being downloaded by detecting it hidden in files, and they scan your system periodically to keep it malware-free. Most reliable antimalware programs are paid programs that only offer free trials, so you need to pay for that level of protection. Otherwise, there is a tweak you can make to the default antivirus software that comes with the Windows operating system, which we will show you how to make in the tutorial below.
Windows Defender does not by default remove all malware such as adware; instead, you need to enable PUP protection first. And even then, it may not be reliable enough to do the job.
Tips for Avoiding 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, it might not ever get taken away.
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 careful what you download. Some websites are far more likely to have malware on them than others. If you are using a reliable web browser, it should already give you decent protection by alerting you to sites that may be harmful—do not ignore those warnings. What’s more, try not to visit any websites that you think may be untrustworthy: torrenting sites can be beneficial, and the founders are not necessarily evil, but you need to remember that random people around the world are uploading those files. Torrenting sites are some of the most notorious for malware for this reason—not everyone is interested in helping you download free files without them getting something in return. Often that return comes in the form of malware tucked away within the files you download, thinking that they’re only movies.
- Install (full paid versions of) third-party antimalware programs. If your operating system is not protecting you well enough 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 will let 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 is still very useful.
- Keep all data and personal information safe. Malware only becomes a problem if it gets its hands on whatever it is looking for. Simply being on your computer is not necessarily the end of the world; it is what it does from that position of power that counts. 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 old software does not necessarily open up new doorways for vulnerabilities; rather, new updates potentially close old vulnerabilities. If you know there are no vulnerabilities, your software is fine to continue using. However, if vulnerabilities are found, updates are critical. If you do not want to follow the news every day, it is best just to keep updating and know that you are safe. That means keeping up to date with your operating systems updates as well. If using Windows, keep Windows Update installing those updates that give you fresher OS versions.
- 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. You need to make sure that the network is secured 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 it is automatically implemented by your WiFi provider. But make sure it stays that way.
- 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 it is open, it also means people with malicious intent also have easy access to it; thus, the information on your smartphones, tablets, and laptops is not going to be safe.
This tutorial demonstrates how to remove the traffic-media.co web browser redirect from a computer so you can start surfing the Web happily again.
How to Remove Traffic-media.co Browser Redirect
1. Head to the official AdwCleaner webpage from Malwarebytes and click on the Free Download link toward the bottom of the page.
2. If your browser gives you a notification that says “This type of file can harm your computer. Do you want to keep the adwcleaner_x.exe anyway, click on the Keep button.
3. Click to open the AdwCleaner file once it has finished downloading.
4. If User Account Control prompts you, click on the Yes button.
5. Click on the I Agree button when you get to the welcoming and license agreement screen.
Click on the Scan Now button to scan your computer of adware and potentially unwanted programs.
The AdwCleaner tool will now quickly scan your computer and find the threats.
Click on the Clean & Repair button from the Scan results page to clean the computer.
You can choose to Clean and Restart Later or Clean and Restart Now depending on what suits your needs. Any unsaved work will be lost if you proceed to shut down now, but you’ll want to shut it down before expecting your computer to be ridded from the adware.
After a few minutes, the AdwCleaner interface will automatically open itself up on your computer’s display once again and show you the results.
Any adware that was detected will now be held in the Quarantine section of the AdwCleaner program. You can if you prefer still uninstall the AdwCleaner from your computer after you’re finished your scans and still expect to browse the Web without seeing the adware that you were before.
Method Two: How to Remove Traffic-media.co Browser Redirect Adware Using Malwarebytes
If scanning with the Windows Security antimalware protection doesn’t remove the Traffic-media.co browser redirect adware, you can try installing third-party antimalware tools instead, such as Malwarebytes, and see if that removes the new adware instead. You can also use an antimalware program such as Malwarebytes to remove the extensions and all other related files remaining on your computer, so you don’t have to do any of it manually.
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. Download the Malwarebytes for Windows from the Malwarebytes website.
2. If prompted by your web browser with a message that says “This type of file can harm your computer. Do you want to keep the executable (.exe) file anyway?,” click on the Keep button.
3. If you are prompted by User Account Control asking “Do you want to allow this app to make changes to your device,” click on the Yes button.
4. Click on the Scan Now button to begin scanning the computer for malware and other potentially unwanted programs. (click to enlarge screenshot below)
5. Wait for the scan to complete. (click to enlarge screenshot below)
6. Select all of the malware and potentially unwanted programs that you want to be removed from the computer and then click on the Quarantine Selected button. (click to enlarge screenshot below)
7. You may get a message from Malwarebytes letting you know that all selected items have been removed successfully, but the computer must be restarted before the removal process can be completed. Select the Yes button to reboot your computer now.
8. Upon signing back in to your computer, the Malwarebytes interface will open and let you know that the scan and quarantine are complete. (click to enlarge screenshot below)
Note: You can also export the scan results by clicking on Export summary from the main Malwarebytes results page and then clicking on the Export button from the scan report. (click to enlarge screenshot below)
You can now close the Malwarebytes interface and continue using your computer if you like.