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Windows 7: Should you always log out of Websites?

13 May 2012   #1

Windows 7 Professional x64
 
 
Should you always log out of Websites?

Hey all,

Just a quick question. If I'm using a home pc (not set up on a network and I'm the only user) is it necessary for me to log out of websites everytime?

This is something I have always done. I have a different password for everything and I use Roboform to save my Passwords. I'm just wondering if it would be ok to leave myself signed into sites. Are there any security risks doing this?



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13 May 2012   #2

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 8.1 Pro Preview with Media Center
 
 

I can only speak of my self and how I am doing, I do not know if there is a universal correct answer to your question.

My Windows or Linux user accounts on all of my computers, both private and those I use at office, are protected with quite complex and long passwords which I change every 60 to 90 days. I am not saying it would be impossible to crack my passwords but at least it would be quite difficult.

In addition all my private computers are using Bitlocker encryption and those at office far more powerful encryption tools. As an old school geek I have learned to lock my OS, Windows or Linux, always when I leave PC alone, even when at home and just going to get a cup of coffee. I know it is a bit too much to be so cautious when at home but for me it is easier to remember to lock the OS always when going away than to have double set of rules, those followed at home and those followed at work. I simply treat all computers as if they were "public", accessible by others.

I never log out from websites I regularly use. I trust the above mentioned is enough. If someone could hack my password and access my PC, the hacker being able to access those websites would be my smallest problem. All the financial websites, banks and credit card companies I use have double identification checks, for instance even if you could hack my Windows password and open my online banking site, you could only see how little money I have but you could not do anything else for every action would need you to provide a transaction code that is sent to my mobile phone. As an added security measure I do not use my normal browsers to get in to financial websites. Instead I use an obscure not very well known browser. I have deleted the shortcuts of that browser from desktop and Start Menu, created a shortcut for it in another folder, and launch it by a keyboard shortcut.

Call me stupid if you want to but as far as I can see it the possibility that a hacker could get both my PC and mobile phone, then hack my Windows password and the security code of my phone (set to autolock after 2 minutes when inactive) and finally find that quite well hidden browser on my PC is so small I think I will win mega million lottery before it happens.

Long story short: I never log out from websites I use regularly. I trust my personal security measures are enough. You must do what makes you feel secure.

Kari
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13 May 2012   #3

Windows 7 Professional x64
 
 

Thanks for the reply Kari,

Your pc does sound very secure. I think for most sites I will leave myself signed in but sign out of my bank, paypal, etc.
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13 May 2012   #4

Windows® 8 Pro (64-bit)
 
 

I too keep logged in to sites which I visit often. For instance, this forums, gmail, facebook, etc. I do not see how any hacker can hack my PC. Moreover, I cant find any reason as to WHY he will be so much interested in hacking my PC. My laptop is shared between me and my wife. She uses Firefox and I use Chrome, with all website information auto-filled.
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13 May 2012   #5

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 64 Bit Home Premium SP1
 
 

I do log out. I know it is not always necessary or logical. I guess I look at it like saying goodbye instead of just walking out the door.

I have noticed that many sites, like SevenForums, automatically log you out after you close the page for more than a minute.
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13 May 2012   #6

Windows 7 Professional x64
 
 

I've just logged out of a website I use regularly! D'oh.....force of habit!
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13 May 2012   #7

Windows 7 Home Premium 32-Bit - Build 7600 SP1
 
 

I always log out of my financial websites and I use passwords that I do not use at any other sites for all of them. For the regular sites, like this one, the passwords are not so complex and I stay signed in. What trouble could be caused by someone going into this site under my name for example?
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13 May 2012   #8

Windows 7 Professional x64
 
 

True Bigmck!

I also use CCleaner once a month to clean out my internet cache and cookies. Should I keep the cookies for the sites I want to stay logged in to? Can a site gain info from a cookie that's come from another site? I do have my browsers set to reject third-party cookies.
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13 May 2012   #9

Win 7 Professional 64-bit
 
 

As mentioned above, I ALWAYS log out of my online banking sites.
I use LastPass and allow it to create long & strong passwords and I set them to force a new one every 30 days.
as for 'non-critical' sites, forums and such, I don't bother with logging out.
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13 May 2012   #10

Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit 7600
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by TVeblen View Post
I have noticed that many sites, like SevenForums, automatically log you out after you close the page for more than a minute.
thats odd as i never log out of sevenforums and i click my bookmark and i never need to log in
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 Should you always log out of Websites?





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