Computer adware can take various shapes and cause different symptoms. Some redirect their victims’ web traffic to certain sites by tweaking custom browsing settings. Others embed advertisements into pages via a virtual layer displayed on top of the original content. What all of these obtrusive apps have in common is the environment that they affect – web browsers. The Ecosia infection appears to call forth a blend of the aforementioned adverse effects, hijacking one’s Internet preferences and serving noxious ads.
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What is ecosia.org?
The users who fall victim to this cyber malady keep bumping into ecosia.org URL off and on. This happens when the infected person launches their browser, opens a new tab or does a web search. The site proper appears to be a search engine that actually goes equipped with a keyword lookup feature – at first sight, there’s nothing malicious about it. Moreover, the authors of Ecosia claim to be driven by commendable ideas. The service is officially described as “the search engine that plants trees”. Most of the revenue from ads displayed on ecosia.org search results pages is allegedly spent on planting trees in Peru, Mozambique, Burkina Faso and a number of other locations across the globe. However, the way people visit the web page in question isn’t all that transparent and voluntary. Users who have the associated add-on installed on their web browser are experiencing unsanctioned redirects of web traffic.
The events underlying these unwanted recurrent instances include the emergence of a new cross-browser plugin or add-on, as well as modifications of the system startup configuration and scheduled tasks. The latter changes pursue the adware persistence objective, where the rogue online parameters keep taking effect even after the user resets the twisted settings manually. The extension added by the Ecosia threat is intended to trigger the annoying popups and tabs beyond the admin’s authorization. As a result of this aggressive interference, constant redirects to the ecosia.org domain will be taking place. The performance of web browsers consequently deteriorates to an appreciable extent, and the user runs the risk of installing malicious programs that may steal their personally identifiable data.
The way the Ecosia virus makes its way into Windows computers is mostly associated with bundles. This term stands for packages of several applications arriving as a single setup. Most of the time, it’s possible to opt out of unwanted promo items by selecting the custom installation option instead of the default one. This relative ease of avoiding extra software in such scenarios, however, doesn’t mean that people exercise proper security and actually untick the potentially unwanted stuff at the setup phase. Unfortunately, most users simply click through the wizard’s screens and thus end up getting hit by potentially unwanted programs like the Ecosia extension. If this predicament has happened, the best workaround is to leverage tried and tested adware cleanup techniques and reset the browser that’s acting up.
Ecosia hijacker automatic removal
The extermination of Ecosia hijacker can be efficiently accomplished with reliable security software. Sticking to the automatic cleanup technique ensures that all components of the infection get thoroughly wiped out from your system.
1. Download recommended security utility and get your PC checked for malicious objects by selecting the Start Computer Scan option
2. The scan will come up with a list of detected items. Click Fix Threats to get the hijacker removed from your system. Completing this phase of the cleanup process is most likely to lead to complete eradication of the infection. However, it might be a good idea to consider ascertaining the hijacker is gone for good.
Remove Ecosia hijacker using Control Panel
- Open Control Panel. On Windows XP / Windows 8, go to Add or Remove Programs. If your OS is Windows Vista / Windows 7 / Windows 10, choose Uninstall a program
- Look down the list and locate an app that appears fishy. Click the Uninstall/Change (Change/Remove) option to get the intruder removed if spotted
Ecosia hijacker removal by resetting the affected browser
Please take into consideration that as effective as it is, the procedure of restoring browser defaults will lead to the loss of personalized settings such as saved passwords, bookmarks, browsing history, cookies, etc. In case you are not certain this outcome is suitable despite its obvious efficiency, it’s advised to follow the automatic removal method described in one of the previous sections of this tutorial.
Reset Google Chrome
- Click on the Chrome menu icon and select Settings
- Locate the Advanced option under Settings and click on it to expand the menu. Then, pick the Reset button at the bottom
- When a new screen appears, hit Reset once again
- Chrome will now display a confirmation dialog box listing the types of data that will be lost if you proceed. Read the message carefully and, if you’re sure, click Reset
Reset Mozilla Firefox
- Click on Help menu and select Troubleshooting Information from the drop-down list, or type about:support in the URL field
- On the Troubleshooting Information screen, click Refresh Firefox option and confirm the procedure on another dialog
Reset Internet Explorer
- In IE, go to Tools and select Internet Options from the list
- Hit the Advanced tab and click on the Reset option
- IE will now display Reset Internet Explorer Settings box, where you should put a checkmark next to Delete personal settings option and click Reset at the bottom
Verify whether Ecosia hijacker has been completely removed
For certainty’s sake, it’s advised to repeatedly run a scan with the automatic security software in order to make sure no harmful remnants of this hijacker are left inside Windows Registry and other operating system locations.