[Poll] Logging Out

Maybe it’s just an old habit for me that I haven’t given up. I know things have changed, so maybe I’m missing something?

Anyway, at another forum that I frequent there was discussion about having an easily available way to log out of the site.

It was stated that providing an easy way to log in was desireable, but that it was neither desireable nor necessary that users log out.

Hence it was decided that burying the log out button a couple of clicks away for most pages was OK even if finding it was not intuitive for new forum members.

Counter arguments were presented and dismissed.

I’m hoping the results of this poll will enlighten me.

  • All the time
  • Usually
  • It depends
  • Never

0 voters

If it’s my own computer, I stay logged in (the computer itself is password protected). If it’s a public or friend’s computer, then I browse incognito so that I’m guaranteed logging out of whatever I was logged into.

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It depends on the site. In most cases staying logged in to a forum on your own computer is not going to cause any problems and is convenient. Even if it did lead to someone breaking into your account the worst that can happen is that they post forum comments as you. That doesn’t make it all that useful for someone to break into your account anyway.

For other types of account where you need to login, actually logging out is far more important (eg. you wouldn’t want to stay logged into your internet banking as you want as many layers of security to protect that as you can.

Of course not everyone knows to distinguish between sites based on the risks and so encouraging them to stay logged in to a forum may result in them doing the same on other sites increasing the chance of a successful attack on an account of theirs where they should be logging out.


I would also say it depends. On my home computer I almost never log out of anything. On my work machine, I leave some things logged in but most log out. On my own laptop, which travels everywhere with me, I log out of everything.

Using incognito / private mode browser windows can circumvent some of this.

Using password managers can circumvent some of this.

For those reasons, what I do isn’t as important, IMO, as what I think - for none of us really, as we are not really the normal Internet user pool to draw opinion from;

My opinion is that the option should be there, as it always has been. It’s good UX, and it’s helpful to those that want to be signing out all the time and don’t use another method.

Good point.

For me, I haven’t used any other machine other than my own desktop for close to 5 years.
Nobody else uses it (other than my cat that might walk or sit on the keyboard :cat2: )
I am familiar with browser settings and know about various ways to help improve security
I am familiar with the UX and “power user” features of the forum.

So in large part it is mostly a habit.

I have a cable connection, so bandwidth isn’t much of an issue. But I still don’t think I need to be getting “notification updates” while I’m away from the computer for any length of time when I’ll see them when I do finally get back anyway…

Okay so I’m still perplexed as to what the poll is collecting… are you asking me how often I logout or whether I feel the logout option should be readily accessible?

If the former, it depends on where I am and what site I’m visiting.

If the latter, I say it is good UX and should always be accessible from any page.


Yes, it certainly isn’t a “scientific” poll that will gather any “hard” useful data.

TBH I’m more interested in hearing others views.

So far it seems that it is most important to have an easy way to log out when

  • you visit a secure site eg. your bank
  • using a less secure internet connection
  • others might use your computer

Perhaps not as important and more of a possible confusion / annoyance factor is

  • you are not tech savvy and can’t figure out how to log out

I think the annoyance factor is there for those of us who ARE tech savvy (why do I have to go to a different page to log out?), and the second for those who are not (which is the one which the lack could be dangerous for).


I don’t think how often you do it is really a factor for logging out, it’s the fact that you need to be able to do it and when you need to do it and it needs to be easily accessible. Because if someone needs to log out, then they are probably on a shared computer.

It’s one of those things where burying adds little benefit to those who don’t need it and a big inconvenience for those who do.


Not necessarily. I may very well wish to logout depending on the type of site. If it is a financial discussion board, or health related site, I may very well not want to stay logged in.

Sure those are probably minorities to some level, but they have large followings and when you have a piece of software that extends beyond one target audience, you have to keep those other areas in mind.

The trouble when developing, though, is that while we can decide if our site needs to be super secure, such as if it’s for a bank, we have limited to no ability to predict, and really no ability to control, whether our users will be using a less than secure Internet connection, or on a computer available to others. Unless we’re developing for an extremely closed internal web application. Ergo, we have to draw a line somewhere and say “here are the rules for how we develop” and I assume that, when in doubt, they should cater more towards the security minded rather than the convenience minded. But maybe that preference is where people are divided?

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The problem is there is no poll question :wink:
So I interpreted it as “how often do YOU log out?”

I agree. I would say it gives me no benefit at all when I don’t need it.
Some sites I always log out, even on my own computer, for security reasons. Some sites I log out often because I need to switch between accounts. Some sites I never log out.
But IMHO there is not one good reason to hide the logout button. It’s like disabling the browser back button because you don’t want people to leave your site.


Yeah, everyone knows that’s silly. You’re supposed to attach a blocking confirm() to it instead.

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Or, you can do like Forbes and other companies do, and tack on an advertisement page before loading content, with the added bonus of making back-button uses pop back into the ad… yes. That’s annoying.

Oops I guess I got this thread off topic with one little innocent remark :smile:


You mean that debugging confirm that JavaScript has that isn’t needed any more. I alweays used to check the kill JavaScript for this page checkbox when those appeared. Now I simply set my browser to turn those debugging tools off so that I don’t see them when people forget to remove them before they put their page live.

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