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Windows 7: Browser showing URL's I have never visited when manually typed in

09 May 2013   #1
vyacheslav

Windows 7 Home
 
 
Browser showing URL's I have never visited when manually typed in

Hello,

I am hoping one of you can help me out, as I am in a desperate situation that is really affecting my marriage. I have an HP laptop that was purchased new in 2012. It runs Windows 7. I mostly use IE as a web browser, but I will occassionally use Google Chrome too, as some programs I run for work seem to run better on Chrome. Myself and my wife are the only ones with access to this computer, and it is password protected. I only use the computer while I am traveling for work, and for internet browsing while at the hotel, airport etc.

Recently, the URL address bar on both IE and on Chrome are showing URL history for sites that I nor my wife have ever visited. For example, when you start typing in the address bar "www." and then type in the first letter after that, it lists mutliple sites that I have never visited. Here's a better example: If I (or my wife) types in the address bar www.g it comes up with several sites that you can just click on that begin with the letter g, just like it does with a site you have already previously visited. For the letter g, it comes up with google.com ,gmail.com , girlgogaming.com and several others. The problem is, I have been to google.com, but I have NEVER been to gmail.com or girlgogaming.com or any of the other sites listed. Let me also make a distinction: This is different than the "Bing Suggestions" that appear while doing this. The Bing suggestions appear below these other sites I am mentioning, and my wife understands that. Again, I am talking about the area right below the address bar. As another example, if my wife types in www.q it comes up with qvc.com and quotegarden.com. Although my wife may have gone to QVC, neither of us have EVER gone to quotegarden.com. This happens with every letter of the alphabet after the www has been typed, or for that matter, after an http or an https has been typed. There are usually at least 4 or 5 websites listed after typing that first letter, 95% of which I have NEVER visited. Curiously, none of them are traditional "bad" or "spam" sites like you would think, although under the letter v, victoriassecret.com was one of the choices (which I have NEVER visited-much to my wife's dis-belief). Verizon and xfinity show up (though I have not visited their sites and do no business with them), lots of medical related sites and just random stuff that seems to be legitimate, but I would never have an interest in visiting in 1000 years. Even secure sites (https) that show I have logged out of my account at a website I have never even heard of (and certainly don't have an account at)!!

My wife thinks that I have been with another women and have been letting that women use the computer while traveling. This is certainly not the case, but no matter how much I try to reassure here, she won't believe me. It is unbelieveably frustrating for me, because I am telling the truth. Her response is "Computers don't lie". In this case though, the computer is lying! I swear I am not crazy!

I know this might sound too weird to believe with this URL monkey business, but I am being 100% honest when I say that I have not visited 95% of those websites that start to appear in the URL box when typing in the first letter of something. I am going to take the computer back to where I bought it (Micro Center) to see if they have any explanation for what is happening. I run good virus protection (ESET NOD 32), but I am connecting on lots of public wi-fi networks, like at hotels, airports and the like. Also, I used several different cubicles at my company's home office (out of town), and I was having some intermittent trouble while connected to their network. Would that have anything to do with it?

I am literally at my wit's end, and this is taking a very heavy toll on my marriage. My wife continues to dis-believe that the URL box would do that to sites that have not been physcially visited. Does anyone have any help or advice they can offer about what might be going on? Thanks very much for any help you can give me; I am not sure where else to turn!


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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09 May 2013   #2
Brink

64-bit Windows 10 Pro
 
 

Hello vyacheslav, and welcome to Seven Forums.

No worries. Please tell your wife to read this post as well to help. She is just mistaken about what this is.

This is part of the AutoComplete settings in Internet Explorer. Specifically the "Address bar" options. It will also provide you with the most popular URL results from the internet for what you type. You can turn off AutoComplete in IE, then close and reopen IE to no longer have this.
Internet Explorer AutoComplete - Turn On or Off
I get the same thing when I type "www.g" in my IE address bar. Here's a screenshot to prove it.
Browser showing URL's I have never visited when manually typed in-ie10.jpg
Hope this helps,
Shawn


My System SpecsSystem Spec
09 May 2013   #3
TwoCables

 

Because this has put your marriage on thin ice, I reached out to another message board to increase the number of experts who might be able to help. I will be posting their replies. Here are 4 that I have already received:


First one:

What I would recommend first would be to look at the browser's history and see when/if these various sites were visited. It might help to see if a bunch of strange sites show up in clusters. As far as "computers don't lie" I feel that is totally untrue. Pretty much anything digital can be manipulated or faked if wanted.

I'd recommend running a full scan with Kaspersky's TDSSKiller and Malwarebytes to verify this strange behavior isn't being caused by a keylogger, malware etc.



Second one:

Don't forget, Chrome also syncs websites that you visit from a phone if you use a Google account. Check the history to see the timestamps for when these pages were accessed... it may give some insight into who was using the computer and when.



Third:

I had a laptop come to me with this issue.

At first I was expecting of his wife planting the URL's.

After much deliberation. I just reformatted the piece of ****.

After a few weeks it came back to me with the same issue again.

The only thing I found to be the same from this time to the last, are all of the crap games with spyware/adware all over the desktop as well as alot of URLS for browser based games on what appeared to be sketchy websites and gambling sites. ( probably resulting in popups/popunders )

I expressed my concerns to the owners of the laptop, loaded up a trustworthy mahjong and a handful of other games, and I have not heard anything since.

I also showed both of them separately how to use incognito mode.

;D


Fourth:

Hate to say it, but I can't see the guy winning this one.

It happens - for example if I type "www.j" into my Chrome address bar it comes up with jobbank, jurysummons and jw.ca website, none of which I have visited.

It is most likely based on popular sites, location and browsing history - in my case I have looked at a few Canadian government websites, hence the jobbank and jurysummons sites, however I have no idea what jw.ca is.

If it is coming up with things like Victoria secret then it is most likely to do with previous searches by him or his wife. Mine comes up with some VBA forums, which I have visited, and some Vancouver based sites which I have not visited.




It is just something that happens and does not mean that anyone else has been using the computer.


However it sounds like his wife is not the trusting or logical type (insert gender stereotype here) and is unlikely to believe him no matter what.

I would suggest that if she has her own computer, which no-one else uses, that she try typing in random letters and seeing if she has been to all those sites. Or look at the browsing history.

__________________________________________________________________________________


I am confident that I'll receive a few more (if not several more).
My System SpecsSystem Spec
.

09 May 2013   #4
TwoCables

 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Brink View Post
Hello vyacheslav, and welcome to Seven Forums.

No worries. Please tell your wife to read this post as well to help. She is just mistaken about what this is.

This is part of the AutoComplete settings in Internet Explorer. Specifically the "Address bar" options. It will also provide you with the most popular URL results from the internet for what you type. You can turn off AutoComplete in IE, then close and reopen IE to no longer have this.
Internet Explorer AutoComplete - Turn On or Off
I get the same thing when I type "www.g" in my IE address bar. Here's a screenshot to prove it.
Attachment 267340
Hope this helps,
Shawn
Oh, so all he has to do is untick "Suggesting URLs" in IE.

I just learned that for Google Chrome, the Prediction Service has to be disabled. Below is taken from here: https://support.google.com/chrome/bi...n&answer=95656

The prediction service is typically turned on by default. Follow the steps below to turn it off.
  1. Click the Chrome menu on the browser toolbar.
  2. Select Settings.
  3. Click Show advanced settings.
  4. In the "Privacy" section, deselect the "Use a prediction service to help complete searches and URLs typed in the address bar" checkbox.
Keep in mind that the address bar shows matches from your browsing history in addition to predictions. If you ever decide that you don't want to see matches from your browsing history either, then clear your browsing history.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
09 May 2013   #5
TwoCables

 

Alright, so to summarize:

In Internet Explorer:

Untick "Suggesting URLs":





In Google Chrome:
  1. Click the Chrome menu on the browser toolbar
  2. Select Settings
  3. Click Show advanced settings
  4. In the "Privacy" section, untick "Use a prediction service to help complete searches and URLs typed in the address bar".


Show this to your wife and show her the differences by toggling these settings. If she still doesn't believe you, then disconnect from the internet, enable these two settings and try again. Without internet access, these web addresses should not get suggested.

If she still has doubts, then show her that it's exactly like Google's Search Suggestions: the suggestions only come up if you have access to the internet. Otherwise, if you're not connected to the internet, then it's only going to suggest from your previous search history.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Browser showing URL's I have never visited when manually typed in




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