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Q: Internet History ( Answered,   0 Comments )
Subject: Internet History
Category: Computers > Internet
Asked by: sallyn324-ga
List Price: $20.00
Posted: 06 Apr 2004 05:28 PDT
Expires: 06 May 2004 05:28 PDT
Question ID: 325953
Could someone explain the internet "history" to me?  I have a
situation where I suspect a co-worker of looking at porn.  When I have
looked at his history, I see a lot of porn-related sites and when I
right click on the link, it tells me what date, time and how many
times it/they was viewed.  Does that mean he's actually going in and
looking at those sites or can those just appear for no reason in his
history?  Also, can computer viruses cause things to arbitrarily show
up in the history?  Can a pop-up show up in the history, or would you
actually have to open the pop-up for it to show up?  Thanks.
Subject: Re: Internet History
Answered By: paul_b_18-ga on 06 Apr 2004 06:13 PDT

As this is quite a delicate matter I will not give you my opinion on
wheter your co-worker is deliberately visiting those sites. Rather,
let me explain how the history in Internet Explorer works.

If a site shows up in the internet history list, this generally _does_
mean that that particular website has been opened on that particular
computer. So these websites do not come up for no reason. However,
this isn?t set in stone: there might some sort of new virus or trojan
out there which nobody knows about that adds these entries in the
history list in the background.
Even if such is a virus/trojan is not installed, you shouldn?t draw
conclusions too fast as there are a couple of innocent possibilities:

1. The computer might be infected with some sort of spyware and/or
trojan which automatically opens a pop-up windows once in a while. A
notorious example of this is the GAIN-network which is sometimes
automatically intalled if you download some other, innocent peace of
These pop-ups might include the undesired websites you are talking
about. Once such a pop-up windows ?pops up?, it is automatically added
in the internet history list. This means entries in the history list
can come up there without any manual or deliberate action of the
person using the computer.

There are several websites and programs availible which can scan your
computer and see if any spyware/trojans are installed:

a) one good software program is called ?Ad-Aware? wich can be
downloaded for free at:
b) another good program is called ?Bazooka Adware and Spyware Scanner?
which can be downloaded for free at:
c) A good website is Here you can run a free online
scan (without having to install software), or download the software to
your harddrive.

Now the following is very important: if these scans do not show up any
spyware/trojans, or if the undesired websites still show up after
these programs have removed all spyware/trojans they could find, this
could _still_ mean that spyware/trojans are responsible for opening
these unwanted websites. The reason for this is that the above
mentioned programs (and similiar programs) can only find spyware they
know. Generally speaking, most of the spyware which is distributed on
the internet, is in their database, but there can always be an new
sort of spyware which is responsible for showing these unwanted sites
which is not recognized by these scanners.
So again you shouldn?t draw conclusions too fast.

2. You should always take into account the possibility that a third
person, not you co-worker, might be opening these websites on that
particular computer.

Concluding I would like to say the following: no _definite_ answer can
be given so you should be carefull when drawing conlusions. I would
run a virus scanner and one or more of the above mentioned spyware
scanners on the computer and see if any virus, spyware or trojan comes
up. They can point you in the right direction regarding the reason for
which these sites show up in the history list, but they don?t give
definite answers.
In either case, I would advise you to simply talk to your co-worker
and present him with the problem. I am sure this can be worked out!

I hope you have enough information. If you need any more, please ask
for a clarification!

Thank you,

Request for Answer Clarification by sallyn324-ga on 06 Apr 2004 07:32 PDT
I have been running Ad-Aware and another spyware program, plus
anti-virus software scans for weeks and there have been no Trojans, no
viruses, etc...  Will keep an eye on the situation, however.  Thanks
for all of your help.
There are no comments at this time.

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