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Tech: eBay 'sharing' info through one router?

Will Fly 28 Nov 12 - 04:21 AM
Jack Campin 28 Nov 12 - 05:47 AM
Nigel Parsons 28 Nov 12 - 06:44 AM
Will Fly 28 Nov 12 - 10:13 AM
Richard Bridge 28 Nov 12 - 11:06 AM
Will Fly 28 Nov 12 - 11:41 AM
JohnInKansas 28 Nov 12 - 12:35 PM
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Subject: Tech: eBay 'sharing' info through one router?
From: Will Fly
Date: 28 Nov 12 - 04:21 AM

Here's a funny thing:

My partner and I have separate laptops. We both look at eBay regularly. I'm a registered member of eBay - she is not. When I do a search on eBay and, in particular, look at individual items, those items appear as "Recently Viewed Items" on the left-hand side of my screen.

My partner noticed last night that my Recently Viewed Items were appearing on her eBay page - even though we're completely separate users of eBay. How can this be? The only thing we share, in computer terms, is the router and the wi-fi to it from our machines. All of this doesn't particularly bother either of us, but we're curious to know how this could be.

Any suggestions?


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Subject: RE: Tech: eBay 'sharing' info through one router?
From: Jack Campin
Date: 28 Nov 12 - 05:47 AM

It's recording searches by originating IP and then sending them back in the Recently Viewed list to anybody who connects from the same IP. Which is how your partner got to see the goat pornography, webbing straps and bulk vaseline.


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Subject: RE: Tech: eBay 'sharing' info through one router?
From: Nigel Parsons
Date: 28 Nov 12 - 06:44 AM

So don't search for your partner's ebay gifts online if you want them to be a surprise!


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Subject: RE: Tech: eBay 'sharing' info through one router?
From: Will Fly
Date: 28 Nov 12 - 10:13 AM

Bugger - she spotted the goat porno!


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Subject: RE: Tech: eBay 'sharing' info through one router?
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 28 Nov 12 - 11:06 AM

What an apt word in context!


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Subject: RE: Tech: eBay 'sharing' info through one router?
From: Will Fly
Date: 28 Nov 12 - 11:41 AM

LOL! Richard.


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Subject: RE: Tech: eBay 'sharing' info through one router?
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 28 Nov 12 - 12:35 PM

There are several additional places where your two computers could be linked in ways that might offer plausible explanations for how you and your wife are crossbreeding cross linked to share information. Some of them could require somewhat unconventional, although not necessarily unusual, setup of your systems.

Assuming that you have separate usernames and log onto your separate computers using them, your cookies (including tracking and browser history) should be in separated places on the two machines, but if you just "turn it on" without signing in when you boot up, you're just "any users" and everything goes to a default location, where any other "anonymous user" would share the same history/cookie files.

Since you have a router, it is likely that it connects to a single ISP server. If you both log onto the ISP Server using the same account ID, the server will connect to whichever machine(s) log in there as if only a single user is connected. Most ISPs require separate "subaccounts" for multiple users, but some don't, and a single user can use the same account from any machine.

If you have your computers linked to share files between them, it's possible you may have "over shared" some areas of your individual computers that are generally considered "better left private." For most such cases you actually have to work at it to do this, but it could happen almost by accident.

It's also possible that one or both of you may have been checking the other's machine and going to the same sites, possibly just to see how cute the goat is ... or one of you may have "borrowed" the other machine for some browsing while something important is running on their own machine. (Some OCR processing can take rather long times, and large file transfers can tie up a machine.)

It would be very difficult to get far with finding which, if any, of these could be affecting you without direct "hands on" access to the two machines. If it's a real concern to you, it likely would be best to find a trusted guru locally to take a look at your setup, with emphasis on security/account/sharing settings. Most of the "commercial" computer fixers will only look at whether the machine runs, not how accounts and connections are set up, so it may be difficult to find someone you can trust, unless you've got qualified "family" members.

Note though, as has been commented above, that advertisers use a variety of methods for targeting ads, and may just be "saturation bombing" of everyone geographically (or by IP address) near you based on your cookies, especially if some others don't do sufficient browsing on specific subjects to identify enough ads to fill all the ad-spaces on a pages you visit.

John


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