Browser windows and “remember me”

I forget the exact name of the command request to keep a user logged in, but if that box is check after signing in, does that always have the user logged in, even if that particular browser window or tab is not open?

It varies widely with browser and OS security settings, and web-site configuration.
The general intent is that when you visit that site, it recognizes you/your browser/your PC and remembers your login credentials. Often it will still require a password to be properly “logged in”, particularly if there is a monetary transaction involved. But not always, so it’s really up to you to determine what level of authority you are granting the web site when you tell it to “remember your login”.
Are you still/always “logged in”, even if you aren’t visiting? I think that is more of a philosophical question. Certainly there is a potential log-in, and again it would depend on the specific security in place. If anyone using your PC can go there and be logged in automatically, then I guess that would imply “always”. If it just remembers your user name but requires a password, then “no”. But if your PC stores passwords it would default to the PC login criteria . . .
Probably for many/most web sites it doesn’t really matter, but any that access personal/financial information, you will want to pay close attention to exactly how the verification is handled. Many sites have gone to a two-factor authentification, where the site will email or text you a PIN number which must be entered in addition to your user_name/password to successfully log in. This is pretty much becoming the “gold standard” for secure login, just FWIW.
One thing you can do to protect yourself is to set up a second email account to be used specifically for questionable web site log-ins, or other on-line activity, and be careful to never associate that email with critical personal data.

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Thanks @George_T_Mule. I’m wondering specifically about this forum. On one thread there is speculation as to why some lurkers log in but don’t post. Some were speculating that it’s to like others comments or private message, and one poster speculated that maybe they were unaware that they were logged in due to the “remember me” function.

I suspect that the later is not possible, since the user would have to have the coth window actively opened to be signed in.

@BatCoach I agree with you it’s unlikely the latter scenario. Another possibility for signing in to lurk but never posting is to turn on Watching for certain threads they want to follow, without having to post on them.

I don’t know about “Lurkers”, here or on any other on-line forum, but just FWIW:
When I was employed at CU, I used to maintain a usenet server. (On a fully optioned DEC Microvax GPX running Ultrix. 6MB of system RAM, and a 200MB external hard drive about the size of a 2-drawer filing cabinet)(Usenet: an early “internet” Bulletin Board sorta thing. Pre WWW; I feel old :-D.) We carried several of the “science” discussion groups, plus the Subaru and Toyota groups (my bailiwick) , and a mostly white-water paddlers board (a couple of our post-docs creation). At the time (late '80s - early '90s) it was estimated that the ratio of readers (lurkers?) to posters was something like 10:1.
I wonder if the sysadmins here on COTH have a mechanism in place to track this. If so, I would be curious as to the current trend. We always figured it was a good thing, as ones posts were potentially reaching a much wider audience than would otherwise be apparent from the raw subscriber numbers. We would get an occasional Troll, too, but they rarely survived long unless they had very thick skin.
Are non-contributing readers an issue on COTH/modern forums? Financial maybe? Contributing or not, they probably see more of the advertisements than I do, as I run a very thorough ad-blocker.
Just curious. Steve (and George, the Mule)

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Very good point

Curious indeed!

Lurking is fine - I think most of us did it to some degree before we felt compelled to create a login and post. I’m sure being able to read threads without requiring a login is great for SEO.

I’m pretty sure you need to have a window actively open to be showing up as online.

As far as lurkers go, there are other forums for various topics where I like to read but do not participate. On one of them I do have an account because some of the threads I like were later set to not be visible unless you are logged in to an account. There’s nothing nefarious going on… I’m interested in the topic and what others have to say about it, but not interested in joining the discussion. And the same thing is true of COTH… the off topic and current events forums are I believe not visible unless you are logged in.

I don’t think I an see who had “remember me” checked upon registration, but we can see the last time the system “saw” any user active on the site.

Based on that information, and how the system counts active users, I don’t think those with saved logins are counted in those numbers.

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