Guest Lessingham

Time to burn the computer?

125 posts in this topic

Mrs L is not the greatest computer savvy person in the world. Recently, I bought her one of those e readers (highly recommended by the way) and so she spends time dowloading free books and the like. Last night we had the oddest conversation. She said that whilst downloading some books she found "loads of porn" on the pc, plus loads of visits to escort sites, including places near where she works.

eep.

Now I did the guy thing, waited 'til she went to bed and then searched the pc. No porn. I always scrub my escort site visit details and I again searched the pc for evidence, none.

Was this a highly successful "fishing trip" by Mrs L to test my reaction? Could she have somehow stuimbled on files I am unaware of? Was it a luck - or unlucky for me- discovery by her.

As far as I can tell I'm not in the doghouse and she is being remarkable calm about it. (Oh gods I am in the dog house!!!!!!!!!!!).

Anyone any ideas as to what directories she may have stumbled onto? Should I get a new hard drive?

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This doesn't sound good. What OS is on the computer? Do you have more than one Browser installed? More than one User Account?

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Before you perk up I have no solution to offer.

But notice in your posting that you say she came across lots of porn and this could have been just from her googling to do with her books (esp if looking for a bodice ripper) but you say she saw parlour visits, i.e. pc history.

So it could be the porn found was because of its sheer prevalance that we hear much about upsetting innocent browsers while the auto complete or something showed her the other pc activity.

Just a thought to clarify or not what may have happened.

Condolences though but a warning for you - many people have warned about this before on here and given solutions (eg using mobile Firefox on a dongle - may have the terminology wrong).

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Mrs L is not the greatest computer savvy person in the world. Recently, I bought her one of those e readers (highly recommended by the way) and so she spends time dowloading free books and the like. Last night we had the oddest conversation. She said that whilst downloading some books she found "loads of porn" on the pc, plus loads of visits to escort sites, including places near where she works.

eep.

Now I did the guy thing, waited 'til she went to bed and then searched the pc. No porn. I always scrub my escort site visit details and I again searched the pc for evidence, none.

Was this a highly successful "fishing trip" by Mrs L to test my reaction? Could she have somehow stuimbled on files I am unaware of? Was it a luck - or unlucky for me- discovery by her.

As far as I can tell I'm not in the doghouse and she is being remarkable calm about it. (Oh gods I am in the dog house!!!!!!!!!!!).

Anyone any ideas as to what directories she may have stumbled onto? Should I get a new hard drive?

Every day and for a week or so, download images of sexy male models and various expensive clothing stores. Then confront her about it at some point in the future. Start crying while you show her. :P

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I am sure there are a lot of techies on here who can tell you what she may have found and how.

If you're not in the dog house then perhaps take it as a warning. If you love your wife and do not want to gamble on your marriage perhaps this was a sign to stop punting ?

If that is not possible then at least stop doing your research at home as that is where the heart is !

Good luck and man to man, just because you appear not to be in the dog house does not mean that you're not. She may be boxing clever, casting you out there with all your deceit and lies to see how you react. Tread carefully and wisely my friend.

Mr Divine.

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Mrs L is not the greatest computer savvy person in the world. Recently, I bought her one of those e readers (highly recommended by the way) and so she spends time dowloading free books and the like. Last night we had the oddest conversation. She said that whilst downloading some books she found "loads of porn" on the pc, plus loads of visits to escort sites, including places near where she works.

eep.

Now I did the guy thing, waited 'til she went to bed and then searched the pc. No porn. I always scrub my escort site visit details and I again searched the pc for evidence, none.

Was this a highly successful "fishing trip" by Mrs L to test my reaction? Could she have somehow stuimbled on files I am unaware of? Was it a luck - or unlucky for me- discovery by her.

As far as I can tell I'm not in the doghouse and she is being remarkable calm about it. (Oh gods I am in the dog house!!!!!!!!!!!).

Anyone any ideas as to what directories she may have stumbled onto? Should I get a new hard drive?

If she said she found it then I would sat without a doubt she found it ! Think about it before you entered our murky world would you have even known that you could find loads of escorts on the net, well your wife certainly wouldn't have. For her to be so specific about locations etc and not just say porn I would say she has seen it.

This is where the fun will start as she will speak to friends at work they will show her how to dig deeper around the pc may even suggest installing key strokes and you will be buggered (if she is really pissed off). I installed key strokes in my pc went to bed and within 10 mins the pratt had hung himself !!

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Mr Divine wrote that song for him !

Mr D's my hero......:P

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Do not change your overt routine but completely change your covert routine and get a new PC, install two IDs and use in private browsing as well as clear history etc.

Stable door and all that but could save your nuts as well as your marriage.

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install ccleaner

start using firefox private browsing or chrome ingognito mode

clear your router logs

pray!

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install ccleaner

start using firefox private browsing or chrome ingognito mode

clear your router logs

pray!

Great advice!

Also is google your friend? or for that matter any other search engine, check they are not doing an auto complete and giving away places you've searched for.

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install ccleaner

start using firefox private browsing or chrome ingognito mode

clear your router logs

pray!

That's a start.

However, I'd also use separate user accounts for the PC, all password protected. Also ensure that the default download directory for Firefox (if using that) is set to a private folder (i.e. under the user's name in the folder hierarchy) and not somewhere like c:downloads.

The paranoid might also want to run a virtual machine and then access the internet from there (again using passwords).

The truly paranoid might want to use Firefox Portable which definitely leaves no trace on the main PC.

An encryption program like True Crypt could be used to set up a hidden and protected virtual disk drive for storage purposes.

There's other things you could do to increase 'security'.

Finally, WRT the OP's problem, it would be worth checking the browsing history especially if using Firefox... the Awesome Bar will bring up history etc as you type so it may not be porn on the computer that's being referred to but websites visited.

B

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There will be some almighty words spoken tonight, once she has had the whole day to think and digest. Good luck :P

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We have several PCs in the house and my wife uses hers and I use the rest. One of them, highly encrypted, is my punting one and I am very careful also with "server storage" devices (I have a 2T backup drive on the network which is accessible by all PCs) and also watch these daft devices that search your PC for images!!

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All of these suggestions about how to make your future computer use more private and secure are brilliant, but a bit after the event I'm afraid.

Your primary mission imho, is to establish exactly what it is that your wife thinks she has found on the computer. I'm afraid that if your wife is anything like mine, then there is no way she would make up stories about porn and escort sites. It just wouldn't have come into her mind. Before you can establish any credible defence, you have to know what she saw (or thinks she saw).

When you say you searched the PC, what is it you did ?

I assume that the only evidence that Mrs L could have found about visits to escort sites would be in your browser history. When you say that there is nothing in your history, how are you checking ? When you are looking for porn, how are you searching ? Sorry to ask such basic questions, but if you have missed something, you are screwed. You MUST establish whether your machine is really clean (and hence your wife is fishing for some reason) or whether there is something there that she really has found (much more likely imho).

Cleaning your PC now would simply be the equivalent of shutting the stable door well after the horse has legged it.

Best of British ....

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There are many clues left behind when you visit a website. The obvious are history and cache but deleting these doesnt really make a difference to someone computer savvy or indeed just lucky - or unlucky as to what keys they press or which windows or information popups they open.

May I recommend Glary utilities. An excellent product that will clean your computer including the registry until it sparkles like new. It also deletes and wipes files and free space ( where your previous deleted files reside) so they cannot be recovered. Ever. Even by wives.

Failing that what about a factory reset.

I would also suggest you look in your downloads file wherever that might be.

Finally buy your lovely wife her own notebook for her next birthday/wedding anniversary/occasion. That way it will soon become you rooting about on her computer.

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Google stores web search history if you sign in.

Edited by Slide
missed out word

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A thought for the Techies :

In firefox you have options for "save history for 0 days" and "clear history when firefox closes"

AFAIK those options just delete the history normally without overwriting so with a recovery program the history can easily be recovered. The best way I believe is to leave both the above options unchecked then use something like CCleaner to delete the history and overwrite it

On CCleaner you have an option that it runs and overwrites history automatically each time at startup.

Anyone any views on the above or am I just paranoid... ?

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Anyone any views on the above or am I just paranoid... ?

It depends on which scenario you are trying to avoid.

If you are worried about MI5 turning up and confiscating your computer to investigate your punting history, then you may have a point.

If you are simply worried about a non-computer literate wife stumbling across your browsing history (as per the OP), then it may be a little OTT.

Of course there are gazillions of scenarios inbetween, so I appreciate that it is better to be over cautious rather than over confident.

My own kids are growing up now (becoming more computer-savvy by the minute) and despite having their own laptops, frequently use my computer. They don't have access to my user account though and even if they do, I use a different browser/e-mail client for punting with the history switched off for the browser, so I assume I am safe from someone not using reasonably specialised software tools, even though those tools are readily available for download.

I still worry when I hear stories like Lessingham's though. I will be interested to hear exactly what it is that his wife has found on his computer.

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do you clear everything from the settings. or do you just click delete in your history list?

If you use google, click on the search bar and press the down key, it should show you everything that you have searched for. Thats how i got caught (just on porn though, not escort services)

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Install firefox if you're not already using it.

Go to tools>options>privacy

Tick the box "clear history when firefox closes"

Click on the 'settings' box next to this and make sure everything is ticked

Before using firefox for punting related browsing click on the 'Tools' menu and then 'start private browsing'.

Download and install the free version of Malwarebytes AntiMalware from http://www.malwarebytes.org/ just in case your OH does get tech savvy and tries to install a history or key logger.

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If she said she found it then I would sat without a doubt she found it ! Think about it before you entered our murky world would you have even known that you could find loads of escorts on the net, well your wife certainly wouldn't have. For her to be so specific about locations etc and not just say porn I would say she has seen it.

This is where the fun will start as she will speak to friends at work they will show her how to dig deeper around the pc may even suggest installing key strokes and you will be buggered (if she is really pissed off). I installed key strokes in my pc went to bed and within 10 mins the pratt had hung himself !!

please what are keystrokes???

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please what are keystrokes???

Something along the lines of this I would imagine.

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As far as I can tell I'm not in the doghouse and she is being remarkable calm about it. (Oh gods I am in the dog house!!!!!!!!!!!).

Anyone any ideas as to what directories she may have stumbled onto? Should I get a new hard drive?

As Northwinds says below, you must find out if you can what info she probably gleaned from your computer-- quickly ! Do not get caught lying , if confronted seriously, you may have to admit to looking at porn ( no big deal) and come up with a reason why you found it interesting to look at escort sites in general ( been a lot of publicity around recently,especially that ' suicide ' case with the escorts in the forest ) , which then out of curiousity brought you to search locally to see if there is a scene etc,etc.

Do not admit seeing an escort unless you know for certain the game is up.

If you're not in the dog house then perhaps take it as a warning. If you love your wife and do not want to gamble on your marriage perhaps this was a sign to stop punting ?

If that is not possible then at least stop doing your research at home as that is where the heart is !

Good luck and man to man, just because you appear not to be in the dog house does not mean that you're not. She may be boxing clever, casting you out there with all your deceit and lies to see how you react. Tread carefully and wisely my friend.

Mr Divine.

First class advice from Mr.D. My hunch is that it is a warning. Maybe she doesnt know, or more importantly , doesnt want to know if you have been shagging the girls. Once it is confirmed then she has a real problem -- what does she do.? Dont put her in that situation. Take the warning know and dont screw it up.

Your primary mission imho, is to establish exactly what it is that your wife thinks she has found on the computer. I'm afraid that if your wife is anything like mine, then there is no way she would make up stories about porn and escort sites. It just wouldn't have come into her mind. Before you can establish any credible defence, you have to know what she saw (or thinks she saw).

....

Yep , good advice. However, I think once I have done my search, I think I would 'clean ' the computer properly and for good. He can just say that after what she had said about porn and stuff that he didnt want rogue stuff corrupting the computer and therefore cleaned it. There is then no evidence that he would have to sit through and watch as she scrolled thru the history firing questions at him and seeking explanations. Risky but on balance worth taking I think.

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