Safari spooking
August 7, 2019 1:08 AM   Subscribe

When I open Safari, I get a generic page with favorite sites above and frequently visited sites below. I've never bothered to edit it, since it does it's job fine. Till today, that is. Today among the frequently visited is the site of my former workplace. How can that happen?

It is extremely triggering, because I was harassed until I developed anxiety and depression at that place, and I am still not able to work full time after 3 years.
The icon has replaced that of Saveur, which I visited yesterday. I looked through my search history to see if I had passed by the workplace site while doing something else, but no, I haven't been there for months.
(I do sometimes look to see how my former students are doing, but last time was in early June).
This is a place that took the trouble to harass me even after I found a new job, I had to get the union to stop them, so I can easily imagine them doing weird stuff. I just can't think of anything they could do?
I did think of them yesterday, because a former colleague passed away. But all communication was on messenger, and importantly, I didn't accept the message, exactly because I am still worried about interactions with that crowd. The colleague hasn't been employed there for more than a decade.
posted by mumimor to Computers & Internet (5 answers total)
Assuming you're talking about the "Top Sites" page, which seems to fit your description, I have also noticed that it includes seemingly odd pages sometimes. Plenty of sites I visit regularly never appear there and sites I haven't been to often, or for a long time, come up more or less regularly. Definitely not just you.

I can't see how this could be anything to do with your former employer, though I understand how you might be suspicious given their treatment of you.
posted by mewsic at 3:29 AM on August 7, 2019

I don’t know how that happens (though I agree it does do weird stuff for no apparent reason) but in Safari for iPhone you can remove the link by long pressing and then clicking the delete button that appears. On the PC/Mac version you should be able to right-clock or command-click.
posted by mskyle at 4:07 AM on August 7, 2019 [1 favorite]

If you’re using a Mac and your computer is set to automatically update, you probably just got an automatic update from Safari 12.1.1 to 12.1.2, which would cause the browser to refresh its Top Sites. I don’t think anyone knows the exact metrics Apple uses to determine top-ness but it could be using frequency rather than recency when regenerating the list.

Since you mentioned that you are able to see the offending site in your History, if it isn’t too triggering maybe you could delete the offending entries from the history list so they won’t regenerate in the future.
posted by bcwinters at 10:52 AM on August 7, 2019

It's generally possible to completely nuke your browser history. This will save your bookmarks and reading list but erase everything else and log you out of all sites. Not sure if you want this, especially if you stay logged in to lots of sites, but it would definitely get rid of any history that might result in that site showing up as a favorite page.

If this is iOS Safari, you can go to the Settings app, scroll down and select Safari, and then scroll down and choose "Clear history and website data" in red.

If it's Mac Safari, you can go to "Safari" on the top left corner and choose "Clear History..." for the same effect.
posted by vogon_poet at 12:22 PM on August 7, 2019

Thanks all of you! I've marked mskyle's and bcwinters' replies as best because it was helpful to remember how to delete a link, and because yes, I did just have an automatic update and that is clearly the (more or less) rational explanation for what happened. I feel stupid for being so paranoid, but what happened at my job was really extreme.
posted by mumimor at 12:32 PM on August 7, 2019

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