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In Private Browsing.

(58 Posts)
Dobbiesmum Tue 03-Sep-13 11:09:29

I need you lot to help me decide if I should dig a little deeper on this or if I'm overthinking it.
Last night DH was in the office on his laptop. He shouted through to me asking if I knew someone who had sent him an FB friend request, I went through to have a look and we figured it out. No issue there. His FB login is his work email address. About 10 minutes later I made us a brew and took his through to him just as he was logging onto hotmail. In the top left corner of the window it said 'In Private Browsing is on'. He didn't realise that I had noticed and we chatted for a few minutes. During the chat he didn't type anything in on the keyboard at all.
The toddler woke up screaming, night terrors I think, a few minutes later so I ended up upstairs sorting her out for about half an hour, took her into our room and dozed off on the bed with her. I woke up at around 2ish this morning. He was still on the laptop but was shutting it down when I went downstairs. Apparently he was working. This isn't unusual, he often brings home work.
So this morning as I am an early riser I went onto his laptop before he got up. There are 3 sites on the history in the last 24 hours. FB isn't one of them, even though I saw him logged in last night. The sites are innocent ones, hotmail, news and a football forum.
Digging back a few weeks there is nothing out of the ordinary, but even that's weird. We do online banking but there is no history of the bank website, even though I know damn well he's been on (and there's nothing strange going on with the bank account either).
Would hotmail even show (just the login page) if he was using in private browsing?
Is there anyway to bypass the private browsing without installing spyware or similar? I am fairly techie in most things (more so than DH thinks) but having an iPad rather than a laptop for the last few years I know very little about this.
I should say that this wouldn't ring major bells for me so soon, but coupled with very out of character behaviour recently it's niggling. He's very very over affectionate at the moment, constantly stroking my hand or hair, telling me he loves me all the time, over cuddly in bed and suggesting nice underwear for me. Again, on it's own mildly irritating as we're not 'touchy' types but these things together are strange.
I'm starting to think I'm not overthinking at all...

MadAboutHotChoc Tue 03-Sep-13 11:13:32

On its own, its not a real biggie (e,g banking online via in private browsing, maybe he was worried about security?) but this along with the other stuff including your instincts, I would be concerned.

Do you have access to his laptop at all? what about his mobile?

Maybe you could check stuff that you do have access to eg bank statements for unusual cash withdrawals...

Dobbiesmum Tue 03-Sep-13 11:18:38

I have access to his laptop in the evenings and occasional mornings when he's either in bed or hasn't taken it to work, same with his phones, no passwords on either - he has a work phone and a private one-. I didn't check his phones this morning. I know his FB password and had a quick look, nothing there unusual apart from a 'hello stranger' type email from his ex that he hasn't opened, let alone replied to.
It's the little niggles that are bugging me. Like I'm missing something...

Quiltcover Tue 03-Sep-13 11:19:36

What do you think he is doing in private browsing?

Dobbiesmum Tue 03-Sep-13 11:19:58

Sorry, forgot to mention, I checked the bank, nothing strange at all.

Dobbiesmum Tue 03-Sep-13 11:22:10

Well this is it Quiltcover I have no idea why he would even use it let alone what for! Maybe because it wouldn't occur to me to use it when browsing the web I've drawn a blank!

mirai Tue 03-Sep-13 11:22:41

Private browsing is just that - not even the hotmail login page would show.

Was it still in private browsing when you came down this morning? If not, then there's your answer. sad

Dobbiesmum Tue 03-Sep-13 11:25:04

No it was fine this morning, does it stay in private mode or do you have to manually do it every time!

Foxred10 Tue 03-Sep-13 11:25:08

It's likely he is looking at porn online. Whether that is a big deal or not is down to how you feel about it. For some people it's a huge no-no and very emotive, for others it's no big deal.....

SuddenlySqueamish Tue 03-Sep-13 11:28:06

I use in-private browsing just because the extent of ad tracking on the web makes me really uncomfortable. And there is a lot more awareness of how much people are tracked in light of recent NSA revelations (although I doubt in-private deters them).

So it could be perfectly innocent

mirai Tue 03-Sep-13 11:30:08

You have to manually switch it on and off

MadAboutHotChoc Tue 03-Sep-13 11:37:11

Yes it is done manually.

What is your sex life like - any change at all?

It could be porn - maybe you could come down to catch him in the act next time he has late night.

As for your niggles, always trust your instincts.

Dobbiesmum Tue 03-Sep-13 11:38:33

It could be innocent, I agree. He's fairly protective of the laptop, he's rebuilt it so many times he's very picky about what goes on it. He uses it in addition to his work computer so he may use it in the office as they're on and off each others computers all the time there.
The thing about porn is that we have watched it together in the past, so I think if he was looking at it online he wouldn't hide it. I don't actually mind some of it in general and he knows this.

Dobbiesmum Tue 03-Sep-13 11:40:44

Well we have 3 DC's, youngest is a toddler and we've been together for 20 years so our sex life fluctuates a little but on average probably once a week. The last few weeks I've been fairly knackered as I childmind and the summer holidays can be exhausting. I still have a decent sex drive though, not as high as his kind but it's still there.

MadAboutHotChoc Tue 03-Sep-13 11:46:21

Sounds like it could be something else that isn't porn - could he be having some kind of affair? Has he mentioned anyone at work? An old femail friend?

FB could offer some clues - try looking at archived messages (so many think they have deleted messages when they have actually archived these) and also go to his activity log (and look at Search as it tells you what he has been searching for).

I would also have a look at the trash bin/deleted folders on his laptop.

Rhianna1980 Tue 03-Sep-13 11:48:42

Why don't u ask him why he had private browsing on ?

Dobbiesmum Tue 03-Sep-13 11:54:38

He hasn't mentioned anyone recently but he doesn't do what he sees as gossip and is notoriously bad at telling me anything at the best of times. I had to instigate a weekly meeting in order to find out where and when he's working and what extra stuff he's doing in any particular week.
He would have plenty of opportunity in all honesty, his job involves late nights and some socialising, but it's very much a boys own type of business, most socialising is done in groups of blokes.
I won't get a chance to look at his laptop for a couple of days but will search the archived and deleted stuff as soon as I can.
The DC's go back tomorrow so I will get a chance to do as he's asked and go over to meet him for lunch soon, I meet him in the office so I can have a poke round his desk drawers while I'm there.

Quiltcover Tue 03-Sep-13 11:55:35

If he is deliberately turning the private browsing on and off each day, he is hiding something he doesn't want you to know about.
Guesses are porn, chatting to women on line, seedy porn (paying per view etc), to an emotional/physical affair.
Many other reasons too though. What goes your instinct tell you it could be?

Dobbiesmum Tue 03-Sep-13 11:55:55

Rhianna just a hunch tbh. I want a little more info before I say anything that could be thrown back in my face as being paranoid or suspicious. Even if I am being!

lucysnowe Tue 03-Sep-13 11:58:18

Eh, I use private browsing for all kinds of things. Besides pron, there's reading Onion articles (you can only read up to five without being asked to subscribe), getting lower air/rail fairs, etc. Even if you have watched porn together there's always the risk he might click 'like' or something on a video and it turn up on facebook shock I always use inprivate just for that reason. Hope it is all innocent.

Quiltcover Tue 03-Sep-13 11:58:32

When men like other women outside there marriage. They either get 'mentionitus' and talk about the person a lot or the woman never gets mentioned which is odd too (ie if they work together closely it is natural to talk about the woman in conversation as you would anyone you work closely with).
Does your dh mention anyone from work?

mummycat0 Tue 03-Sep-13 12:06:17

I also think it could be innocent, I use private browsing when planning surprises for DH or buying birthday or anniversary presents. Any birthdays or anniversaries coming up?

I'd wait till the next time you see him using it and ask, there isn't much he can get away with using private browsing tbh apart from hiding searches.

Dobbiesmum Tue 03-Sep-13 12:08:34

He mentions people occasionally, I'm good friends with his boss and his wife and have a couple of his colleagues on my FB. It's a mainly male environment. He doesn't mention the 2 women in the office really, they're in a job share and in a different part of the building. If it is someone else I'm pretty certain it's not in work. I'm thinking back but I really ain't remember him going ott mentioning anybody at all, but I may be overlooking something there.
All my instinct is telling me is that there is something not right. I don't want to think of an affair and until I see some other evidence I'm going to out that one to the back of my mind. My other instinct says that his overly affectionate puppy impression is guilt, it really isn't like him at all to be all over me like he is at the moment.
I will keep my mouth shut and my eyes and ears very open for a while I think, do a little digging when I get the opportunity.
Thanks all, it helps to get things down on here.

Dobbiesmum Tue 03-Sep-13 12:11:45

Nothing special coming up, the next thing for us is christmas but we don't do presents for each other then.
I think the other thing to do is educate myself on in private browsing. I very rarely use an actual computer, I prefer the iPad (even if my typing is shit on it) and am much more familiar with the workings of it over a laptop.

SparkyTGD Tue 03-Sep-13 12:15:54

I use private browsing all the time.

I don't want DP reading all my MN threads & seeing how many times I've googled about my latest celeb crush blush

Could be completely innocent.

Treen44444 Tue 03-Sep-13 12:20:23

Op - you are very suspicious, why do you have trust problems? Any reasons?

TheWomanWhoMisplacedHerHusband Tue 03-Sep-13 12:37:22

She's listed the reasons several times Treen the posts above list them - H being overly affectionate etc.

Op - always listen to your instincts. How about having a look through his phone or emails? I wouldn't condone that normally but seeing as you have a feeling something is amiss, might help.

Treen44444 Tue 03-Sep-13 12:46:51

Thewoman - I was wondering if there was previous cheating from her or her husband.

If you want absolute transparency. Ask him.
You should also tell him about this thread and previous times you have snooped on his computer and through his Facebook/phones. You should also mention that you planned to snoop through his work desk.

I was just wondering about trust, you can't control him.

ALittleStranger Tue 03-Sep-13 13:06:38

I use private browsing all the time. To keep forums private, to stop things popping onto Facebook, get around limits, stop targeted ads etc. Add porn into the mix and there are loads of non-affair reasons to. Maybe start a conversation about ads or something to see if it's something on his radar?

I think if he was being really devious he'd only do the top top secret stuff in private to leave enough of an internet history to avoid arousing suspicion.

But you have spidery senses - you shouldn't ignore that.

Dobbiesmum Tue 03-Sep-13 13:21:54

Sorry, had to go sort out WW3... No history of cheating at all and up to now I've had no reason not to trust him. We were friends for a long time before we got together and I know him. Or at least I think I do, hell I hope I do and I'm having a premenstrual fit of paranoia.
I think that this why I'm getting this hunch that something is not right now, his behaviour is so unlike the 'him' that I know, and it's bringing out my instinct to check up on him in ways I wouldn't have thought of before. We know each others passwords, I have the Fb app so it's always available for him to have a quick look, same with my emails. We're in each others phones if one of us are being too lazy to pick up a text, the other will do it. It's been an honest relationship.
If it comes to the crunch I will certainly tell him that I've been looking and that I've sought advice from other people about what to do. He uses the iPad if he's checking something quickly online so he might find this thread anyway.
I'm asking you all first simply to see if I'm right to have these hunches that something is up.

Dobbiesmum Tue 03-Sep-13 13:24:07

Have to nip out with the tribe so am not ignoring anyone.

SawofftheOW Tue 03-Sep-13 17:44:48

Dobbiesmum, follow your hunches. Always. And don't show your hand yet. You only have to read through some of the threads on here and see how an initially unsubstantiated feeling that something is 'different' leads to the discovery of something devastating.

However, the fact that he mentions you wearing nice underwear makes me wonder if it is porn rather than an affair. Then again, some men become more sexually interested in their DW/DP when they are getting it elsewhere either as a way of gaslighting them/attempting to head off suspicion or because the excitement of the sex with the OW makes them feel, well, sexier (urrgh). My DH had absolutely no drop off in his sexual interest in me when engaged in a high-octane affair with his OW (before I knew, that is) and indeed it was probably greater. He of course told his OW that we weren't having sex at all..

I do wonder if your DH left the 'innocent' stuff for you to see in his History to put you off the scent if you did happen to check up. So it's one of two things - I hope it's just porn as you have said porn isn't a problem for you (but then, as you say, why would he be secretive), but I suspect it may be what others have suggested, either sexual chat online (hence his feeling more amorous around you), or it is an affair and that's his way of dealing with his guilt.

I have to say that his constant reiteration that he loves you, when he doesn't normally do this, rings warning bells with me re an affair, either physical or EA. My BF realised something was up when her normally very reserved DH began telling her how much he loved her, constantly touching her, dragging her into fields when walking home from the pub to have sex etc. Her digging, following her instincts, and following him to the OW's flat in the final resort as he had covered his email, text and FB trail very effectively, revealed a year-long affair with a fellow police officer. I do so hope that this is not the case with your DH.

Best of luck.

Mumsyblouse Tue 03-Sep-13 18:49:07

I use private browsing a lot, mainly as I use work computer for non-work stuff like MN, and certainly for things like airline tickets.

The over-affection is far more worrying, but you can't know what's behind it, yet.

Quiltcover Tue 03-Sep-13 19:02:32

How do you know if someone has used private browsing on a laptop?

Apocalypto Tue 03-Sep-13 19:04:17

I use this all the time when doing banking on a laptop (in case it is nicked and the session somehow restored), and when reading the Daily Labourgraph online. After you've read some limited number of articles a month it blocks you, but if you use an incognito window it doesn't, because that mode hides who's reading the site, so it can't see who to block.

The bloke who sits next to me at work complains all the time that he gets filth ads put on his work PC screen all the time "because Chrome has worked out that I'm a bloke". Our work PCs block porn, FB and youtube, so the work PC this chap uses cannot possibly have "worked out he's a bloke" based on porn viewed from that machine, because there cannot have been any. He has looked at football, war gaming and car sites on it, however, which I suppose is how it is done.

If your bloke is techie enough to rebuild a laptop, he is poss also techie enough to browse stuff in private for reasons of PC hygiene.

Treen44444 Tue 03-Sep-13 19:09:04

I don't disagree but would your fella see you different if he knew you were snooping? Would you see your partner differently if you knew he'd been through your phone/emails

ImperialBlether Tue 03-Sep-13 19:12:49

It would be interesting to know the times of the Hotmail etc visits. If he's been on InPrivate Browsing all evening, then clicked on the others just before going to bed, I'd wonder that he was up to something.

OP, you've said there's nothing wrong with the bank. You feel something's going on, that at the very least he's feeling guilty. What else could he be feeling guilty about, apart from money and sex? I know you don't want to think about it, but if the money is OK and something is wrong, surely it has to be sex related?

Treen44444 Tue 03-Sep-13 19:20:11

Maybe, he is feeling over judged. Maybe your spying is pushing him away?

If he said to you 'can you tell me what you are doing', how would you feel. I think people need to breathe,

Dobbiesmum Tue 03-Sep-13 21:16:13

I knew getting it out on here instead of going into anything mob handed would make a difference. smile
So, inspired by what's been said I tackled him and admitted to having a look on his laptop this morning. It turns out he has been hiding something... He found a lump in a very sensitive area and instead of making an appointment (as he promised to do) he has been consulting Dr Google and looking at all sorts of horror stories. He's been scared shitless for days about it and in his words saw his life flashing before his eyes. He has hidden the history just in case either me or the DC's saw anything.
Apparently he uses in private browsing at work quite a bit and just didn't turn it off.
He has an appointment at the Docs tomorrow and has asked me to go with him.
So, the snooping would appear to have a good affect, we have had a look at a couple of sensible websites which seems to have put his mind at rest a little as well. He is a pretty capable bloke usually but give him a health scare and he turns into a wobbling wreck...
Oh and he relaxed a little too and didn't do the puppy thing when he nipped out again thank god, it was getting really bloody irritating!
So thanks all, I really appreciate your advice on this wine and cake tonight I think!

YoniBottsBumgina Tue 03-Sep-13 21:21:12

The hotmail, other login pages would show up so I wouldn't worry about that - in fact private browsing doesn't save cookies so it would log you out as soon as you close the tab. Another reason to use it would be to save disk space as it doesn't add unnecessary bloat to things.

Not sure whether to be glad or not as to what it turned out to be though! Obviously it's v. good he is now being seen by a doctor. I know that with breast lumps most turn out to be benign but it's best to check, hope this is the same. Good luck with the appointment.

Dobbiesmum Tue 03-Sep-13 21:26:07

I know Yoni, having had a look on the cancer research site put my mind at rest as it's quite painful. This is apparently a goodish sign so we're hoping for the best outcome now, just have to wait and see tomorrow.
I think my feeling is that now it's something known that we can deal with and he can stop bottling things up and talk to me instead of 'I don't want to worry you' which in all honesty makes me stabby...

sunshinemeg Tue 03-Sep-13 22:07:23

I am so relieved that the huge number of people who have jumped to the affair conclusion are wrong. It does shock me on here how quick people are with that, I also very much hope that the lump turns out to be nothing, and your other half realises that google is the worst thing to do when researching health. Hope your worries about trust can go now.

ImperialBlether Tue 03-Sep-13 22:20:58

I really hope the visit to the doctor goes well, OP. I must have spent too much time with men who like to share all their symptoms of very minor illnesses; I didn't think he might have been looking up symptoms. Best of luck for tomorrow.

Dobbiesmum Tue 03-Sep-13 23:02:03

Thanks, There's a whole new set of worries now but at least they can be dealt with quickly. I should have known that something big was up, he's not a worrier in general, he has an ongoing health concern (not connected to this) that he talks about freely but this came on so suddenly that it shocked him, although I think he knew it was there before he initially told me and had worked himself up into a state.

Dobbiesmum Tue 03-Sep-13 23:04:02

Oh and the next time he consults Google about his health I'm going to brain him with the laptop...

SuperiorCat Tue 03-Sep-13 23:16:10

Dobbiesmum - I am relieved that there was no bad intent on his part, but also that you trusted your instincts and had a proper grown up conversation with him.

I do hope the lump turns out to be nothing sinister thanks

Treen44444 Tue 03-Sep-13 23:30:47

That's a relief. Will you let him read this thread? Or is it ok for you to not be totally honest?

OhDearNigel Tue 03-Sep-13 23:36:18

I turned on inprivate browsing by accident once. May be perfectly innocent

cronullansw Wed 04-Sep-13 00:50:04

I don't believe him, making a feeble excuse like this when we all KNOW the beast is looking at porn, how dare he be so disrespectful to you thinking he can cover his lies like this. LT filthy porn watching B.


Oh MN, the vitriol, the bitterness, the vile bile spewed from so many, and so few apologies too.

OP, I'm very sad to hear he has an issue and I really, really hope it all get's cleared up quickly and smoothly xxx

Boosterseat Wed 04-Sep-13 08:08:40

OP - please ignore Cron he tars all men with his hairy handed brush and likes to plant little seeds of nastiness in all his does.

FWIW, i use In-Private browsing all the time, looking up presents for DC, forums,banking etc. My 2 reasons are the following:

1) If someone steals my laptop/ipad, they have less chance of committing identity fraud

2) I wouldn't want DC/Nosey SIL etc reading my posts on MN if i left a device hanging around

obviously a porn habit though because no-one should take internet safety seriously

MadAboutHotChoc Wed 04-Sep-13 08:13:51

Glad you have an explanation for the odd behaviour - as I have said earlier, the in private browsing itself is not a big deal as long as nothing else has changed.

Hope all goes well at the GP.

Boosterseat Wed 04-Sep-13 08:26:55

Sorry OP forgot to wish your DH the best of luck at his appointment, sending good vibes.

liquidstate Wed 04-Sep-13 08:35:08

Sparky I also use InPrivate for googling my celebrity crush blushgrin

I first started using it as I could not work out how to have two browsers open at a time so that could be an explanation. I can now open up a separate window so when I am using private browsing I don't bother doing banking and boring things on there.

SparkyTGD Wed 04-Sep-13 11:33:20

Hope he's ok

cronullansw Wed 04-Sep-13 11:53:27

Boosterseat - it was a joke, it was irony, hence the smile

I'm entirely with the op and entirely against the lot who swore it must be porn, or an affair - you know, the ones who didn't apologise for their horrible and unfounded allegations and don't have a sense of humour.

ayahushca Wed 04-Sep-13 13:43:32

I'm glad it has worked out and all is well, but I got to say I'm horrified by the general acceptance by posters that your snooping and monitoring of a loved ones private material is alright. I would be hurt incredibly deeply if I ever found my dp looking at stuff that I have clearly indicated I wish to keep private, and going through my private browser history would be as devastating as finding them reading my diary.

To me there is no greater red flag than someone who think that being in a relationship means you forfeit your right to privacy. I've been with people who've insisted that their trust must be earned by emptying out my pockets and laying bare my life for their inspection whenever they ask. I felt infantilised, harassed, stifled and oppressed to such an extent that it simply couldn't work after that. And that's what you're doing, only if anything it's worse because you're going behind his back.

His being suddenly very physically affectionate may mean something bad is going on with him, or that something good is going on with him, or it might mean nothing at all. Finding out can only be achieved by talking to him about it. But it's a huge, unreasonable leap to use it to justify putting him in the "under suspicion" category with the suspension of his privacy rights that goes with it (in your book).

Instincts will not always be right, that's simply not true. Everyone's guided by their instincts to a large extent but they're completely fallible (especially on personal, emotional subjects), On some occasions they will be entirely wrong.

There are any number of innocent sites he might prefer to keep his visiting private, he might have a medical thing, he might want to discuss something life/relationship issues in private with someone, he might be researching a hobby/subject that he feels slightly embarrassed about and does not want to share with you at this point, it could be anything.
But he owes you no explanation for his private browsing if he doesn't want to give you one. His life is his business, just like yours is yours. You're there by invitation, you don't get to poke around where he doesn't want you going like you own the place. Sorry if this sounds unfriendly, and I wish I could express myself more gracefully, but I just find this attitude so so wrong.

To trust someone is to take a leap of faith in them. It unavoidably necessitates a loss of control, and leaving yourself vulnerable. But you're never forced to trust anyone, and merely wanting to trust someone but not quite being sure you do (as seems the case here) doesn't justify snooping. It's something you feel towards someone or you don't and can only be built through personal intimacy and impression over time. Proving it is impossible, and attempts to do so are massively destructive towards the chances of romance and happiness in a relationship.

Sorry for ranting at you, any anger I feel here is towards the way the world is trending generally and not directed at you personally at all, I know individual snooping is hardly crime of the century, what I find so chilling is how it's becoming the norm. Anyway, wish you all the best. smile

SawofftheOW Wed 04-Sep-13 15:39:20

Really hoping and praying that it is nothing serious. As for those who criticise those on this thread who have 'jumped to conclusions', I do apologise to you Dobbiesmum if my comments have caused you any hurt. That would never be my intention and they flowed only from the fact that as I and many, many others on this site know all too painfully well, initial suspicions about a change in behaviour are frequently followed by devastating news about your relationship. And you were right to trust your instincts as his behaviour HAD changed, but for reasons other than many of us initially suspected. Wishing you luck with your DH's trip to the doctor. x

Dobbiesmum Wed 04-Sep-13 20:53:41

Very quick ressurection of the thread and then I'll let it die
Doc's appt went fine, he's going for a scan when he gets an appointment through. Dr didn't seem overly urgent, agreed that it needs dealing with but mentioned a couple of things he thought it could be. The referral isn't going to be urgent (I used to be a GP receptionist and med secretary, I know how to use the lingo) so we can but hope and wait.
To those who apologised, you don't need to. I've been around long enough to know you get all answers from all sides here and that is exactly what I wanted.

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