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Author Topic: Can someone find out that you've been searching them?  (Read 6789 times)

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dunce

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    Can someone find out that you've been searching them?
    « on: October 22, 2010, 11:39:36 AM »
    I met someone on from IMDb. They seemed very familiar so I googled their email address, to make sure they weren't messing with me. From that Google search I clicked on a site that they had joined some time ago, tried to join myself and was rejected. In the rejection email, the site sent me a link to my Google search of this person's email and used it as the reason for my rejection.

    My question is, is it possible that this person will know that I've been looking for information about them and tried to join this site because they had? I'm not trying to stalk, I'm only trying to protect myself from someone who stalks ME and might be doing it through this particular IMDb account.

    Mulreay



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    Re: Can someone find out that you've been searching them?
    « Reply #1 on: October 22, 2010, 03:01:37 PM »
    Or will then sane people out there see it for what it is? It is SPAM is the easiest job you can do on the planet with the smallest amount of respect involved.
    For when the One Great Scorer comes
    To write against your name,
    He marks - not that you won or lost,
    But how you played the game.

    Owner of www.spaceandscience.co.uk and YouTube partner http://www.youtube.com/user/mulreay

    Salmon Trout



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    Re: Can someone find out that you've been searching them?
    « Reply #2 on: October 22, 2010, 05:09:44 PM »
    Dunce's post is complete and utter nonsense. None of the things he alleges to have happened are possible. Possibly he is in need of psych help.


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    patio

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    Re: Can someone find out that you've been searching them?
    « Reply #3 on: October 22, 2010, 09:02:35 PM »
    The thing is...even if you're convinced they aren't out to get you doesn't mean they are...
       
    "
    All generalizations are false, including this one.  "

    dunce

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      Re: Can someone find out that you've been searching them?
      « Reply #4 on: October 23, 2010, 06:06:25 AM »
      Dunce's post is complete and utter nonsense. None of the things he alleges to have happened are possible. Possibly he is in need of psych help.
      I'm not sure which part you are talking about, but I'm not making this up. I know nothing about how any of this stuff works, hence the name, and when I was sent this rejection email with a link to the exact Google search that I had done (that led me to the site) I freaked out.

      I'm sorry if my retardation where the internet is involved offends you. I just wanted to know if it is possible that someone is 'watching' me.

      Salmon Trout



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      Re: Can someone find out that you've been searching them?
      « Reply #5 on: October 23, 2010, 06:16:23 AM »
      I just wanted to know if it is possible that someone is 'watching' me.

      When you click on a link which is a Google search result, the site that you go to via the link gets no information whatsoever about the Google search that you had typed. You must be confused. I expect a number of people on here are now "watching" you, for signs of paranoia or trollery. Or just for amusement.




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      dunce

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        Re: Can someone find out that you've been searching them?
        « Reply #6 on: October 23, 2010, 06:39:35 AM »
        When you click on a link which is a Google search result, the site that you go to via the link gets no information whatsoever about the Google search that you had typed. You must be confused. I expect a number of people on here are now "watching" you, for signs of paranoia or trollery. Or just for amusement.

        Paranoia? Absolutely. Trollery? No.
        All I know is they sent me an email saying 'Your registration has been rejected .........' and included a link. When I clicked on that link it sent me to Goodle and  'JohnDoe@yahoo.com' was in the search bar. Exactly what I had typed to find the site in the first place.

        Salmon Trout



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        Re: Can someone find out that you've been searching them?
        « Reply #7 on: October 23, 2010, 06:49:41 AM »
        What site?

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        dunce

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          Re: Can someone find out that you've been searching them?
          « Reply #8 on: October 23, 2010, 06:57:40 AM »
          Does that matter? 

          Salmon Trout



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          Re: Can someone find out that you've been searching them?
          « Reply #9 on: October 23, 2010, 07:07:04 AM »
          Does that matter?

          Well, up to now we have your word that "a site" has sent you a rejection email. If we knew what it was, we might know, or be able to discover, what might have happened. All we know so far is that you "met" somebody on IMDB (a site about movies). You then Googled their email address (why?) and tried to join a site that you allegedly found in the Google search results (why?). (But you're not a stalker. Oh no.) Then the site sent you an "rejection email" with a link in it. What form the link took is not made clear. I think that in the absence of any more information, this thread is not going to go very far.


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          dunce

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            Re: Can someone find out that you've been searching them?
            « Reply #10 on: October 23, 2010, 07:19:42 AM »
            Someone else from IMDb had been harassing me through PM and email.  It was amusing at first, but then it became scary. I think they thought I was someone else. That's the only thing I can come up with. My presence there has never been significant enough to warrant a stalker. When this new person started 'talking' to me I thought maybe it was the same person, so yeah, I Googled them. I wanted to know if this was same person that had given me trouble before. That's all.

            I didn't think this question would be so problematic.

            BC_Programmer


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            Re: Can someone find out that you've been searching them?
            « Reply #11 on: October 23, 2010, 08:48:33 AM »
            When I clicked on that link it sent me to Goodle and  'JohnDoe@yahoo.com' was in the search bar. Exactly what I had typed to find the site in the first place.

            That would be your browser's autocomplete, or something similar, most likely. Also, if you truly mean the "Search bar" then it's contents won't change when you navigate sites. It would still have your original search term as you followed the various links.

            Although I find it odd that they would list google as a reason to reject your registration, since most registrations are automated and therefore it wouldn't be particularly feasible to create a software implementation that is able to analyze google results for completely unrelated queries about other peoples E-mail accounts  and somehow base a rejection on that.

            Bottom line- it's not possible for anybody (except maybe google, and of course your own browser) to ever know anything you searched for. Google just knows your IP searched for a certain query. I doubt they keep a particularly detailed record of that type of thing though, due to a number of privacy laws in various countries.

            The thing is, even if it were possible, the first thing to have to happen would be that said person would need to wonder if people are googling them. In this case, you googled (to my understanding) the E-mail address (in a misguided attempt to see if Person A from IMDB (which to my understanding doesn't even have a forum, and if it did would be unlikely to publically reveal the E-mail addresses of members (or was this person actually directly E-mailing you?). So, the person would not have to wonder wether somebody is googling their name or address, but rather wether people are googling for their possibly disposable E-mail address. There is no reason for them to wonder this, and even if they could find this information, it wouldn't be particularly useful. What if they were able to know you googled them? I fail to see what particular significance it might have. (Again, most of that was hypothetical, there are far too many "barriers" to getting this information and that information would be particularly useless in almost any context).


            Quote
            When you click on a link which is a Google search result, the site that you go to via the link gets no information whatsoever about the Google search that you had typed.
            Not true. If the browser fills out the REFERER header field then the site that is visited via the google search get's the entire URL of the search page; the URL can be parsed to reconstruct the exact search that was made. But that only applies to websites; it's doubtful that a website would keep that information around throughout the entire registration process, and even less likely that they would reject a registration based on that information.

            I was trying to dereference Null Pointers before it was cool.

            Salmon Trout



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            Re: Can someone find out that you've been searching them?
            « Reply #12 on: October 23, 2010, 10:05:40 AM »
            Not true. If the browser fills out the REFERER header field then the site that is visited via the google search get's the entire URL of the search page; the URL can be parsed to reconstruct the exact search that was made. But that only applies to websites; it's doubtful that a website would keep that information around throughout the entire registration process, and even less likely that they would reject a registration based on that information.

            Good catch; when I checked this I completely forgot that I had previously disabled referrer* headers in Firefox**.

            * referer/referrer...

            Quote
            "Referer" has become a widely used spelling in industry when discussing HTTP referrers; usage of the misspelling is not universal, though, as the correct spelling of "referrer" is used in some web specifications such as the Document Object Model.

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HTTP_referrer

            **How-to here

            http://cafe.elharo.com/privacy/privacy-tip-3-block-referer-headers-in-firefox/

            This shows how, in about:config, to set network.http.sendRefererHeader to 0. The default value is 2.

            If you now have problems with certain sites (e.g. Wordpress) try setting it to 1.

            0 completely disables the referrer header.
            1 sends a referrer header when following a link to another page, but not when loading images on the page.
            2 (the default) sends referrer header when following links and when loading images on the page

            « Last Edit: October 23, 2010, 10:49:33 AM by Salmon Trout »

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            patio

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            Re: Can someone find out that you've been searching them?
            « Reply #13 on: October 23, 2010, 10:29:04 AM »
            Good Tip there...just turned mine off.

            Thanx !
               
            "
            All generalizations are false, including this one.  "

            Salmon Trout



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            Re: Can someone find out that you've been searching them?
            « Reply #14 on: October 23, 2010, 11:06:52 AM »
            Although I find it odd that they would list google as a reason to reject your registration, since most registrations are automated and therefore it wouldn't be particularly feasible to create a software implementation that is able to analyze google results for completely unrelated queries about other peoples E-mail accounts  and somehow base a rejection on that.

            [...]

            If the browser fills out the REFERER header field then the site that is visited via the google search get's the entire URL of the search page; the URL can be parsed to reconstruct the exact search that was made. But that only applies to websites; it's doubtful that a website would keep that information around throughout the entire registration process, and even less likely that they would reject a registration based on that information.

            Is it feasible that a small, special-interest forum might have a manual registration process? I have joined forums where all applications are checked by admins and you have to wait. The very fact that a "rejection email" is sent at all is significant. And might they log and examine the referrer information? And draw an inference, justified or not, from the fact that the attempted enrolment was directly from a Google search for an existing member's email address?

            I wonder what inference they might draw from the absence of a referrer header, or would it just look as if the attempting enroller had typed the url directly into the address bar?





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