Received this question recently:
Sometimes after I’ve been at a secure site – complete with little padlock – and I want to leave the site, I don’t find a ‘log out’ button. It always makes nervous to just hit the X to close the page. I usually go to the options or file and find ‘close’ or ‘exit’ before I leave the page. What’s the best way to exit a site that doesn’t provide a log-out button?
A website that has been professionally developed should always have a logout option. That is considered standard procedure, for the sake of both security as well as just logical navigation. Certainly any sites that are financial in nature, such as online banking, should offer this option (if not, I would consider avoiding online banking for that institution).
At a site that does not offer you the chance to log out, the first step in remaining secure happens when you log in. If the site offers to remember your password for you, say no. Same thing if your web browser (such as Internet Explorer or Firefox) says it can store your password for future use – you should elect not to do that.
When you have completed your business, and there is no log out button available, you can simply close the browser window. Make sure all of the browser windows are closed. You are now logged out.
Want to test it to be sure? Go back to the same site and try to access your private information. If the site requires you to log in first, then you know that you have successfully been logged out.
I would also recommend contacting the owner of the site and let him/her know that the log out function is missing. Anyone that understands online security and also wants to keep website visitors happy will take care of that issue ASAP.
This week’s video is pretty short, but funny. Some people just don’t take care of their cars.