THREAT REMOVAL

Traffic Exchange Adware Removal

stf-traffic-io-traffic-exchange-adware-ads-main-website-page

Traffic.io is one of the domains for a platform known as Traffic Exchange. Advertisements and redirects are being generated and spread across websites to boost the traffic of other sites. An adware application adding the domain to your browsers exists as well. The secondary domain related to the unwanted application is Online.io. The platform advertises the exchange of traffic between websites, but it uses black SEO tactics and ads. To remove the websites, redirects, and ads, you should read the article carefully to the end.

Threat Summary

NameTraffic Exchange
TypeAdware, Browser Hijacker, PUP
Short DescriptionThe platform generates advertisements and redirects, and ad content can be displayed on other websites.
SymptomsYou can see advertisements in your browsers, such as pop-ups, banners, or other types. You will experience lots of redirects.
Distribution MethodFreeware Installations, Bundled Packages
Detection Tool See If Your System Has Been Affected by malware

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Malware Removal Tool

User ExperienceJoin Our Forum to Discuss Traffic Exchange.

Traffic Exchange – Distribution Tactics

The Traffic Exchange adware is distributed in different ways. Third-party installer setups could have installed the related adware on your computer. These installations typically come with freeware or bundle packages. Without your awareness, additional content can be installed on your personal computer. Preventing installations of any undesired software can be done if you find a Custom or an Advanced options menu in the setup. Web domains such as Online.io can distribute the adware if you register on them.

Traffic Exchange might also be distributed with the aid of multiple redirects and advertisements, that are hosted and spread by suspicious websites. Pop-ups, pop-unders, and banners could contain links for redirecting and boosting traffic. Upon visiting websites with an unknown origin you could get the related adware inserted into your computer system. Browsers which could be affected are: Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome, Internet Explorer and Safari.

Traffic Exchange – Closer Inspection

Traffic Exchange is a platform for exchanging traffic as you might have guessed from the name already. The basic principle is for its clients to receive more online traffic on their websites, while they put advertising content and redirects towards domains of the platform. The two more popular domains are:

  • Traffic.io
  • Online.io

The platform also pushes related software spreading the advertising content from your computer, thus being an adware. Mostly, the adverts will point to the website Online.io, and you can end up on its registration page. That result can be seen from the image below:

online-io-traffic-exchange-adware-ads-domain

Traffic.io is the other domain, and it is going to appear mainly with redirects and be one of the primary redirects. Unfortunately, ads and in-text links also can serve as redirects, so you won’t see it less often. This is how that domain looks:

stf-traffic-io-traffic-exchange-adware-ads-main-website-page

From observing the websites, though, it seems that Online.io is the dominant domain, which looks to be in development from its main page, but is already working. Seeing the copyright at the bottom of the page also gives the feeling of a more complete site. The Traffic.io site seems more likely as a dummy domain for where the blame to fall on. It might have been an older domain and the operation to be shifted to the other one, but the site to have remained accessible – or at least a part of it.

Traffic Exchange seem to be able to spread even similar malicious software through its platform and advertisement redirects. Browser hijackers affecting the homepage, new tab and default search on your browsers might get installed. The adware itself has some hijacking capabilities for launching redirects and adverts in your browsers whenever it feels like it. Some of the advertisements can have text inside them.

Here are examples of texts which can show inside ads:

  • Ads by Traffic.io
  • Advertisement by Traffic.io
  • Ad by Traffic.io
  • Advert from Traffic.io
  • Powered by Online.io
  • Brought to you by Online.io

Redirects accumulate money for the website owners with a pay-per-click plan and from the installing of malicious software on your computer system. Advertisements like pop-ups and banners could be associated with partners or affiliates of the platform makers. Adverts which are related to Traffic Exchange show as pop-ups, pop-unders, banners, and sometimes they could also appear as sliders, interstitial and transitional ads.

No Privacy Policy can be found on neither the Online.io, nor the Traffic.io website. Also, no traces of browser cookies are found on neither of the sites. Have a moment to think about it, though, if the platform has its adware inside your computer it can send out personally and non-personally identifying information – all it needs is an internet connection. The data could also be shared with third-party partners. You do not know what information is exactly sent out, and that makes this adware particularly scary. Spying on you and your PC activity is possible.

In case you do not wish your privacy to be intruded in such a way, you should remove the platform and its adware as quick as possible. Besides, you might get more malware on your computer, if you keep it.

Remove Traffic Exchange Adware

To remove Traffic Exchange manually from your computer, follow the step-by-step removal tutorial written down below. In case this manual removal does not get rid of the adware and redirects completely, you should search for and remove any leftover items with an advanced anti-malware tool. Such software can keep your computer secure in the future.

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Berta Bilbao

Berta is a dedicated malware researcher, dreaming for a more secure cyber space. Her fascination with IT security began a few years ago when a malware locked her out of her own computer.

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Windows Mac OS X Google Chrome Mozilla Firefox Microsoft Edge Safari Internet Explorer

How to Remove Traffic Exchange from Windows.


Step 1: Boot Your PC In Safe Mode to isolate and remove Traffic Exchange

OFFER

Manual Removal Usually Takes Time and You Risk Damaging Your Files If Not Careful!
We Recommend To Scan Your PC with SpyHunter

Keep in mind, that SpyHunter’s scanner is only for malware detection. If SpyHunter detects malware on your PC, you will need to purchase SpyHunter's malware removal tool to remove the malware threats. Read our SpyHunter 5 review. Click on the corresponding links to check SpyHunter's EULA, Privacy Policy and Threat Assessment Criteria

1. Hold Windows key() + R


2. The "Run" Window will appear. In it, type "msconfig" and click OK.


3. Go to the "Boot" tab. There select "Safe Boot" and then click "Apply" and "OK".
Tip: Make sure to reverse those changes by unticking Safe Boot after that, because your system will always boot in Safe Boot from now on.


4. When prompted, click on "Restart" to go into Safe Mode.


5. You can recognise Safe Mode by the words written on the corners of your screen.


Step 2: Uninstall Traffic Exchange and related software from Windows

Here is a method in few easy steps that should be able to uninstall most programs. No matter if you are using Windows 10, 8, 7, Vista or XP, those steps will get the job done. Dragging the program or its folder to the recycle bin can be a very bad decision. If you do that, bits and pieces of the program are left behind, and that can lead to unstable work of your PC, errors with the file type associations and other unpleasant activities. The proper way to get a program off your computer is to Uninstall it. To do that:


1. Hold the Windows Logo Button and "R" on your keyboard. A Pop-up window will appear.


2. In the field type in "appwiz.cpl" and press ENTER.


3. This will open a window with all the programs installed on the PC. Select the program that you want to remove, and press "Uninstall"
Follow the instructions above and you will successfully uninstall most programs.


Step 3: Clean any registries, created by Traffic Exchange on your computer.

The usually targeted registries of Windows machines are the following:

  • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run
  • HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run
  • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\RunOnce
  • HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\RunOnce

You can access them by opening the Windows registry editor and deleting any values, created by Traffic Exchange there. This can happen by following the steps underneath:

1. Open the Run Window again, type "regedit" and click OK.


2. When you open it, you can freely navigate to the Run and RunOnce keys, whose locations are shown above.


3. You can remove the value of the virus by right-clicking on it and removing it.
Tip: To find a virus-created value, you can right-click on it and click "Modify" to see which file it is set to run. If this is the virus file location, remove the value.

IMPORTANT!
Before starting "Step 4", please boot back into Normal mode, in case you are currently in Safe Mode.
This will enable you to install and use SpyHunter 5 successfully.

Step 4: Scan for Traffic Exchange with SpyHunter Anti-Malware Tool

1. Click on the "Download" button to proceed to SpyHunter's download page.


It is recommended to run a scan before purchasing the full version of the software to make sure that the current version of the malware can be detected by SpyHunter. Click on the corresponding links to check SpyHunter's EULA, Privacy Policy and Threat Assessment Criteria.


2. After you have installed SpyHunter, wait for it to update automatically.

SpyHunter5-update-2018


3. After the update process has finished, click on the 'Malware/PC Scan' tab. A new window will appear. Click on 'Start Scan'.

SpyHunter5-Free-Scan-2018


4. After SpyHunter has finished scanning your PC for any files of the associated threat and found them, you can try to get them removed automatically and permanently by clicking on the 'Next' button.

SpyHunter-5-Free-Scan-Next-2018

If any threats have been removed, it is highly recommended to restart your PC.


Windows Mac OS X Google Chrome Mozilla Firefox Microsoft Edge Safari Internet Explorer

Get rid of Traffic Exchange from Mac OS X.


Step 1: Uninstall Traffic Exchange and remove related files and objects

OFFER
Manual Removal Usually Takes Time and You Risk Damaging Your Files If Not Careful!
We Recommend To Scan Your Mac with SpyHunter for Mac
Keep in mind, that SpyHunter for Mac needs to purchased to remove the malware threats. Click on the corresponding links to check SpyHunter’s EULA and Privacy Policy


1. Hit the ⇧+⌘+U keys to open Utilities. Another way is to click on “Go” and then click “Utilities”, like the image below shows:


2. Find Activity Monitor and double-click it:


3. In the Activity Monitor look for any suspicious processes, belonging or related to Traffic Exchange:

Tip: To quit a process completely, choose the “Force Quit” option.


4. Click on the "Go" button again, but this time select Applications. Another way is with the ⇧+⌘+A buttons.


5. In the Applications menu, look for any suspicious app or an app with a name, similar or identical to Traffic Exchange. If you find it, right-click on the app and select “Move to Trash”.


6: Select Accounts, after which click on the Login Items preference. Your Mac will then show you a list of items that start automatically when you log in. Look for any suspicious apps identical or similar to Traffic Exchange. Check the app you want to stop from running automatically and then select on the Minus (“-“) icon to hide it.


7: Remove any left-over files that might be related to this threat manually by following the sub-steps below:

  • Go to Finder.
  • In the search bar type the name of the app that you want to remove.
  • Above the search bar change the two drop down menus to “System Files” and “Are Included” so that you can see all of the files associated with the application you want to remove. Bear in mind that some of the files may not be related to the app so be very careful which files you delete.
  • If all of the files are related, hold the ⌘+A buttons to select them and then drive them to “Trash”.

In case you cannot remove Traffic Exchange via Step 1 above:

In case you cannot find the virus files and objects in your Applications or other places we have shown above, you can manually look for them in the Libraries of your Mac. But before doing this, please read the disclaimer below:

Disclaimer! If you are about to tamper with Library files on Mac, be sure to know the name of the virus file, because if you delete the wrong file, it may cause irreversible damage to your MacOS. Continue on your own responsibility!

1: Click on "Go" and Then "Go to Folder" as shown underneath:

2: Type in "/Library/LauchAgents/" and click Ok:

3: Delete all of the virus files that have similar or the same name as Traffic Exchange. If you believe there is no such file, do not delete anything.

You can repeat the same procedure with the following other Library directories:

→ ~/Library/LaunchAgents
/Library/LaunchDaemons

Tip: ~ is there on purpose, because it leads to more LaunchAgents.


Step 2: Scan for and remove malware from your Mac

When you are facing problems on your Mac as a result of unwanted scripts, programs and malware, the recommended way of eliminating the threat is by using an anti-malware program. Combo Cleaner offers advanced security features along with other modules that will improve your Mac’s security and protect it in the future.



Windows Mac OS X Google Chrome Mozilla Firefox Microsoft Edge Safari Internet Explorer


Remove Traffic Exchange from Google Chrome.


Step 1: Start Google Chrome and open the drop menu


Step 2: Move the cursor over "Tools" and then from the extended menu choose "Extensions"


Step 3: From the opened "Extensions" menu locate the unwanted extension and click on its "Remove" button.


Step 4: After the extension is removed, restart Google Chrome by closing it from the red "X" button at the top right corner and start it again.


Windows Mac OS X Google Chrome Mozilla Firefox Microsoft Edge Safari Internet Explorer


Erase Traffic Exchange from Mozilla Firefox.

Step 1: Start Mozilla Firefox. Open the menu window


Step 2: Select the "Add-ons" icon from the menu.


Step 3: Select the unwanted extension and click "Remove"


Step 4: After the extension is removed, restart Mozilla Firefox by closing it from the red "X" button at the top right corner and start it again.



Windows Mac OS X Google Chrome Mozilla Firefox Microsoft Edge Safari Internet Explorer


Uninstall Traffic Exchange from Microsoft Edge.


Step 1: Start Edge browser.


Step 2: Open the drop menu by clicking on the icon at the top right corner.


Step 3: From the drop menu select "Extensions".


Step 4: Choose the suspected malicious extension you want to remove and then click on the gear icon.


Step 5: Remove the malicious extension by scrolling down and then clicking on Uninstall.



Windows Mac OS X Google Chrome Mozilla Firefox Microsoft Edge Safari Internet Explorer


Remove Traffic Exchange from Safari.


Step 1: Start the Safari app.


Step 2: After hovering your mouse cursor to the top of the screen, click on the Safari text to open its drop down menu.


Step 3: From the menu, click on "Preferences".

stf-safari preferences


Step 4: After that, select the 'Extensions' Tab.

stf-safari-extensions


Step 5: Click once on the extension you want to remove.


Step 6: Click 'Uninstall'.

stf-safari uninstall

A pop-up window will appear asking for confirmation to uninstall the extension. Select 'Uninstall' again, and the Traffic Exchange will be removed.


How to Reset Safari
IMPORTANT: Before resetting Safari make sure you back up all your saved passwords within the browser in case you forget them.

Start Safari and then click on the gear leaver icon.

Click the Reset Safari button and you will reset the browser.


Windows Mac OS X Google Chrome Mozilla Firefox Microsoft Edge Safari Internet Explorer


Eliminate Traffic Exchange from Internet Explorer.


Step 1: Start Internet Explorer.


Step 2: Click on the gear icon labeled 'Tools' to open the drop menu and select 'Manage Add-ons'


Step 3: In the 'Manage Add-ons' window.


Step 4: Select the extension you want to remove and then click 'Disable'. A pop-up window will appear to inform you that you are about to disable the selected extension, and some more add-ons might be disabled as well. Leave all the boxes checked, and click 'Disable'.


Step 5: After the unwanted extension has been removed, restart Internet Explorer by closing it from the red 'X' button located at the top right corner and start it again.


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