virus is a link shortening service that may bring malware to your computer is a legitimate service that offers to shorten links for convenience the other purposes, and also claims that users can earn money by doing so. Link shortening services are extremely popular and benefit both parties – the providers can earn pay-per-click ad revenue, and the users can enjoy clutter-free links. However, despite all these benefits, there are certain security risks involved in using links carelessly.

The safe usage of highly depends on who is using the service, as cybercriminals can be one of them – they can create a site that hides a malicious code inside of it, and use the shortened link to disguise the origin of the site. These links can then be populated all across the internet by using social media platforms, adware,[1], and other methods. In other words, platform can only be trusted when they are coming from somebody you know online, or if they are embedded on a trusted site. Otherwise, we do not recommend clicking on links.

Besides the links that can lead to malware, the frequent appearance of ads might also indicate adware infection, so it is important to check the system with a security program if suspicious browser behavior is observed. 

Type Link shortening service, browser redirect or adware
Developer Limited
Similar services, etc.
Dangers  Threat actors can use the service in order to disguise malicious links and populate them online by using different methods – the click may, in some cases, lead to the proliferation of malware. Additionally, the ad networks uses might not always display secure content – gambling, “click allow to continue,” fake update and other prompts are common
Termination ads can result in the installation of potentially unwanted programs and malware. To get rid of all the unwanted and malicious programs from your device, check the details below; a scan with anti-malware software is also recommended 
Recovery  In case your system got infected with adware or other malware, your system may start malfunctioning after its removal. In such a case, we suggest you scan your machine with Reimage Reimage Cleaner to fix virus damage 

To use the service, users are urged to register for an account, which asks for an e-mail, and a password – these details are collected by the site, according to its privacy policy. Without creating an account, users are unable to monetize on the shortened links, which can earn them as much as $22.50 per 1000 visits:


Earn up to $22.50 per 1000 visits to your short URLs. Generate stats on-the-fly and break-down by countries, referrers, and specific dates. We payout users every month for earnings above $10.00.

While this may seem like a great deal, keep in mind that those who will use the shortened links will be exposed to a large number of advertisements, and some of them might not be as secure. Quite often, various services employ not so secure advertisement networks that promote relatively unsafe content, such as gambling or suspicious online gaming sites with hidden fees.

In some cases, might even show fraudulent notifications about outdated applications that seemingly need to be updated, or prompts that ask users to download browser extensions or potentially unwanted applications in order to proceed. In other words, an “ virus” term might very much be applicable in these cases.

We advise you not to download anything offered by the ads and do not interact with buttons, as well as other content that is displayed before viewing the link, as you may end up installing useless software like scareware or potentially unwanted application like adware. In such a case, however, you will need to remove apps or even malware from your machine. virus is a site that offers users to shorten links and earn money, although this activity puts other users at risk

The easiest way to perform removal is to scan the computer with a reputable anti-malware program – it will quickly determine whether you installed something unwanted or malicious on your device. If that is the case, experts[2] also recommend resetting Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Safari, and all the other installed browsers to delete cookies[3] and other settings the PUP may have introduced. Finally, if you experience system crashes or errors, use Reimage Reimage Cleaner to fix virus-affected system files.

Watch out for malicious links and never install software that is promoted deceptively 

It is not a secret that shortening link service earns money by showing users ads – it is a legitimate practice that is used by many high-profile websites. However, some ads might be just more dangerous than others, and it is important to take them into account. Some ads do not focus on regular advertising practices, such as promoting the service, application, or other products, but rather use deception or even fraud.

For example, quite often, users are presented with fake notifications that claim virus infections, accuse users of doing something illegal, their software needs to be updated, or insist that their machines have been blocked entirely.

As evident, all these claims are fake and should not be paid attention to. However, there are plenty of users that would believe the fake alerts, and that is precisely what malicious ad authors are counting for. Having that said, means that deliver such unfair advertisements should also be counted as malicious, and should never be trusted.

Quite often, link shortening services rely on shady advertising networks that pay more but put users’ online safety at risk. Additionally, the adware may also bring users to these insecure sites that want to steal personal information, promote malicious apps, or make users pay for fake tech support services.[4]

To avoid this, users are advised to be very careful when browsing the web – never click on suspicious ads that try to intimidate with various claims, offer get-rich-fast-schemes, claim outdated software was detected, and similar fraudulent content.[5] As a countermeasure, however, an ad-blocking application can be employed – it would remove all the malicious ads from the doily web browsing routine. Additionally, security experts recommend installing a comprehensive security application and downloading software from trusted sources only, all while avoiding pirated and crack installers. ads displays unsafe ads, and asks users to download suspicious apps removal options

To remove virus-related programs, you can check the instructions below – you should access the installed app list and get rid of everything that you do not recognize (was installed without your direct permission). Additionally, you should also reset all the installed browsers to ensure that the PUP-altered settings do not interfere with your daily web browsing routine. You can find how to do that below as well.

As a general rule, removal should always consist of scanning your machine with anti-malware software, especially if you downloaded and installed something after being prompted by an unsafe advertisement. Thus, download powerful anti-malware, enable the PUP detection feature and perform an in-depth computer scan. Anti-malware will ensure that all the malicious components are eliminated from your machine at once and will also protect you from online dangers in the future.

You may remove virus damage with a help of Reimage Reimage Cleaner . SpyHunter 5Combo Cleaner and Malwarebytes are recommended to detect potentially unwanted programs and viruses with all their files and registry entries that are related to them.

Reimage Reimage Cleaner has a free limited scanner. Reimage Reimage Cleaner offers more through scan when you purchase its full version. When free scanner detects issues, you can fix them using free manual repairs or you can decide to purchase the full version in order to fix them automatically.

Eliminate from Windows systems

To remove the virus manually from the Windows OS, follow the instructions carefully. Also, check the list of recently installed programs too. If you find some suspicious applications, uninstall them immediately.

  1. Click Start Control Panel Programs and Features (if you are Windows XP user, click on Add/Remove Programs). Click 'Start -> Control Panel -> Programs and Features’ (if you are ‘Windows XP’ user, click on ‘Add/Remove Programs’).” title=”Click ‘Start -> Control Panel -> Programs and Features’ (if you are ‘Windows XP’ user, click on ‘Add/Remove Programs’).”></li>
<li>If you are <span class=Windows 10 / Windows 8 user, then right-click in the lower left corner of the screen. Once Quick Access Menu shows up, select Control Panel and Uninstall a Program. If you are 'Windows 10 / Windows 8' user, then right-click in the lower left corner of the screen. Once 'Quick Access Menu' shows up, select 'Control Panel' and 'Uninstall a Program'.
  2. Uninstall and related programs
    Here, look for or any other recently installed suspicious programs.
  3. Uninstall them and click OK to save these changes. Right click on each of suspicious entries and select 'Uninstall'
  4. Remove from Windows shortcuts
    Right click on the shortcut of Mozilla Firefox and select Properties. Right click on browsers' icon and select 'Properties'
  5. Go to Shortcut tab and look at the Target field. Delete malicious URL that is related to your virus. Select 'Shortcut' tab and delete '' or other suspicious URL

Repeat steps that are given above with all browsers’ shortcuts, including Internet Explorer and Google Chrome. Make sure you check all locations of these shortcuts, including Desktop, Start Menu and taskbar.

Delete from Mac OS X system

It’s uncommon for Mac OS X to be hijacked by this kind of cyber infection. Though, if you need help with removal, please follow the instructions below:

  1. If you are using OS X, click Go button at the top left of the screen and select Applications. Cick 'Go' and select 'Applications'
  2. Wait until you see Applications folder and look for or any other suspicious programs on it. Now right click on every of such entries and select Move to Trash. Click on every malicious entry and select 'Move to Trash'

Remove from Internet Explorer (IE)

After noticing the hijack of IE, you might find suspicious add-ons in the Internet Explorer. Thus, you should follow the instructions to fix all the problems.

  1. Remove dangerous add-ons
    Open Internet Explorer, click on the Gear icon (IE menu) on the top right corner of the browser and choose Manage Add-ons. Click on menu icon and select 'Manage add-ons'
  2. You will see a Manage Add-ons window. Here, look for and other suspicious plugins. Disable these entries by clicking Disable: Right click on each of malicious entries and select 'Disable'
  3. Change your homepage if it was altered by virus:
    Click on the gear icon (menu) on the top right corner of the browser and select Internet Options. Stay in General tab.
  4. Here, remove malicious URL and enter preferable domain name. Click Apply to save changes. Delete malicious URL, enter your desired domain name and click 'Apply' to save changes
  5. Reset Internet Explorer
    Click on the gear icon (menu) again and select Internet options. Go to Advanced tab.
  6. Here, select Reset.
  7. When in the new window, check Delete personal settings and select Reset again to complete removal. Go to 'Advanced' tab and click on 'Reset' button. Now select 'Delete personal settings' and click on 'Reset' button again

Get rid of virus from Microsoft Edge

Follow the steps below to fix Microsoft Edge after the hijack.

Reset Microsoft Edge settings (Method 1):

  1. Launch Microsoft Edge app and click More (three dots at the top right corner of the screen).
  2. Click Settings to open more options.
  3. Once Settings window shows up, click Choose what to clear button under Clear browsing data option. Go to Settings and select 'Choose what to clear'
  4. Here, select all what you want to remove and click Clear. Select 'Clear' button
  5. Now you should right-click on the Start button (Windows logo). Here, select Task Manager. Open the start menu and select 'Task Manager'
  6. When in Processes tab, search for Microsoft Edge.
  7. Right-click on it and choose Go to details option. If can’t see Go to details option, click More details and repeat previous steps. Right-click 'Microsoft Edge' and select 'Go to details'Select 'More details' if 'Go to details' option fails to show up
  8. When Details tab shows up, find every entry with Microsoft Edge name in it. Right click on each of them and select End Task to end these entries. Find Microsoft Edge entries and select 'End Task'

Resetting Microsoft Edge browser (Method 2):

If Method 1 failed to help you, you need to use an advanced Edge reset method.

  1. Note: you need to backup your data before using this method.
  2. Find this folder on your computer: C:\Users\%username%\AppData\Local\Packages\Microsoft.MicrosoftEdge_8wekyb3d8bbwe.
  3. Select every entry which is saved on it and right click with your mouse. Then Delete option. Go to Microsoft Edge folder on your computer, right-click every entry and click 'Delete'
  4. Click the Start button (Windows logo) and type in window power in Search my stuff line.
  5. Right-click the Windows PowerShell entry and choose Run as administrator. Find Windows PowerShell, right-click it and select 'Run as administrator'
  6. Once Administrator: Windows PowerShell window shows up, paste this command line after PS C:\WINDOWS\system32> and press Enter:

    Get-AppXPackage -AllUsers -Name Microsoft.MicrosoftEdge | Foreach {Add-AppxPackage -DisableDevelopmentMode -Register $($_.InstallLocation)\AppXManifest.xml -Verbose}

    Copy and paste a required command and press 'Enter'

Once these steps are finished, should be removed from your Microsoft Edge browser.

Uninstall from Mozilla Firefox (FF)

The hijacker might have altered Mozilla’s settings. Thus, to get rid of them and get back access to the browser, you need to reset its settings. What is more, you should also look for suspicious extensions installed and remove them from the browser. Look for AdFocus or similar entries.

  1. Remove dangerous extensions
    Open Mozilla Firefox, click on the menu icon (top right corner) and select Add-ons Extensions. Click on menu icon and select 'Add-ons'
  2. Here, select and other questionable plugins. Click Remove to delete these entries. Select 'Extensions' and look for malicious entries. Click 'Remove' to get rid of each of them
  3. Change your homepage if it was altered by virus:
    Click on the menu (top right corner), choose Options General.
  4. Here, delete malicious URL and enter preferable website or click Restore to default.
  5. Click OK to save these changes. When in 'General' tab, delete malicious URL from 'Home Page' section or click on 'Restore to Default' button. Click 'OK' to save changes
  6. Reset Mozilla Firefox
    Click on the Firefox menu on the top left and click on the question mark. Here, choose Troubleshooting Information. Click on menu icon and then on '?'. Select 'Troubleshooting Information'
  7. Now you will see Reset Firefox to its default state message with Reset Firefox button. Click this button for several times and complete removal. Click on 'Reset Firefox' button for a couple of times

Erase from Google Chrome

To reject all the modifications made by the browser hijacker, you need to follow the instructions and reset Google Chrome. In order to eliminate the hijacker manually, you should also check the list of extensions and get rid of all unknown add-ons, plug-ins, or toolbars that might have been installed without your knowledge.

  1. Delete malicious plugins
    Open Google Chrome, click on the menu icon (top right corner) and select Tools Extensions. Click on menu icon. Select 'Tools' and 'Extensions'
  2. Here, select and other malicious plugins and select trash icon to delete these entries. Look for malicious entries and delete each of them by clicking on the Trash bin icon
  3. Change your homepage and default search engine if it was altered by your virus
    Click on menu icon and choose Settings.
  4. Here, look for the Open a specific page or set of pages under On startup option and click on Set pages. After clicking on menu and 'Settings', select 'Set pages'
  5. Now you should see another window. Here, delete malicious search sites and enter the one that you want to use as your homepage. Click 'X' to remove malicious URLs
  6. Click on menu icon again and choose Settings Manage Search engines under the Search section. When in 'Settings', select 'Manage search engines...'
  7. When in Search Engines…, remove malicious search sites. You should leave only Google or your preferred domain name. Click 'X' to remove malicious URLs
  8. Reset Google Chrome
    Click on menu icon on the top right of your Google Chrome and select Settings.
  9. Scroll down to the end of the page and click on Reset browser settings. When in 'Settings', scroll down to 'Reset browser settings' button and click on it
  10. Click Reset to confirm this action and complete removal. Click on 'Reset' button to complete your removal

Eliminate from Safari

To remove the virus entirely, you need to reset Safari settings. These steps will help you to fix your browser:

  1. Remove dangerous extensions
    Open Safari web browser and click on Safari in menu at the top left of the screen. Once you do this, select Preferences. Click on 'Safari' and select 'Preferences'
  2. Here, select Extensions and look for or other suspicious entries. Click on the Uninstall button to get rid each of them. Go to 'Extensions' and uninstall malicious add-ons
  3. Change your homepage if it was altered by virus:
    Open your Safari web browser and click on Safari in menu section. Here, select Preferences as it was displayed previously and select General.
  4. Here, look at the Homepage field. If it was altered by, remove unwanted link and enter the one that you want to use for your searches. Remember to include the “http://” before typing in the address of the page. When in 'General', delete malicious URL and enter your desired domain name
  5. Reset Safari
    Open Safari browser and click on Safari in menu section at the top left of the screen. Here, select Reset Safari…. Click on 'Safari' and select 'Reset Safari...'
  6. Now you will see a detailed dialog window filled with reset options. All of those options are usually checked, but you can specify which of them you want to reset. Click the Reset button to complete removal process. Select all options and click on 'Reset' button