Why was I suddenly logged out? Or: I received a “session time out” message – What does it mean?

  • OlivierC
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Session time out on the forum

(Note from moderator: moved this post to a new topic "Session time out on the forum" so as to not have two topics in one thread.)

muench wrote: Regarding the "session time out" problem, I have been discussing this with Philipp, hopefully we will soon reach a consensus. He is worried about security issues, which I can't fully follow.
Have others had the same problem with the session time out? I know Christian Rieck has. Personally, I think it is horrible that someone might type a long reply - then perhaps be interrupted or distracted - and when she returns to the laptop, the half finished posting is lost. That would be very bad indeed.


Regarding that issue, my suggestion would be for the people who like to write an exented text that they do it in the appropriate program (word, gedit, ...)... and then just copy paste the final version in here, the forum.

I actually often do a "ctrl-a" and "ctrl-c" of text I am about to send. Cause it make a temporaire savings that I could "ctrl-v" paste again if need.

Hope it will prevent some frustrating time out moment :)

Bye Olivier C

Olivier Chaput
Responsable Recherche et développement d'alternatives
Research and Development of Alternatives
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Animation et coordination du réseau de l'assainissement durable (Belgique)
Belgium
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  • Doreen
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Re: Session time out on the forum

Dear All,

I have also had problems with the time out. I normally copy and paste from a word document too but sometimes once you are in the forum, you still want to edit your text and then time out happens which can be quite annoying especially once you have already completed everything e.g. putting the pictures and arranging the paragraphs etc. Isn’t there a possibility to elongate the time just a little bit more?

Best regards

Doreen

Doreen Mbalo

GIZ Sustainable Sanitation Programme
Advisor
Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH
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  • muench
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Re: Session time out on the forum

Dear all,

I used to be annoyed with the "session time out" as well, but since a few months, I tick that check box "remember me" when logging in. Then you don't get kicked out for as long as you don't turn off your computer. At least that's how it works for me.
It is this tick box here:



Doreen and others, have you tried ticking the "remember me" tick box, does it work for you? (not sure if it is different for different browser settings).

Regards,
Elisabeth

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Dr. Elisabeth von Muench
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This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. Twitter: @EvMuench
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  • bayeboah
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Re: Session time out on the forum

For the few posts that I have made on this forum, I have taken some time to build and edit them. I also use the "Word" cut and paste trick and I have not experience any timeout yet. It could also be because I ticked the "Remember me" last time I logged in.
Though it is good to have this timeout function for security reasons, I am also thinking, since only registered members can post on this forum, do we really need the timeout function?

Bismark

Bismark
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  • tmsinnovation
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Re: Session time out on the forum

Dear All

If you are having "time-out" problems / issues, please also look at the following: forum.susana.org/forum/help
The last entry in the help section I have inserted below for you convenience:

Having problems with premature session Time Outs?
A possible source of the problem could be your internet browser settings. For Firefox users when you log-in to the forum you will be asked with a pop-up "Would you like to remember the password for "username" on susana.org" if you click "Remember password" your browser will keep you logged in for the entire session (5 hours of inactivity allowed). For Internet Explorer users when you log-in to the forum you will be asked with a pop-up "Do you want Internet Explorer to remember the password for susana.org?" if you click "Yes" your browser will keep you logged in for the entire session (5 hours of inactivity allowed). Two more things to consider are 1.) if you have deactivated your cookies, then it could happen that your browser allows your session to time out prematurely and 2.) depending on the security settings of your browser, when you close your browser you may also be automatically logged out.

If you still have problems, please post details of what is happening here in the forum and we will look into it.

Kind regards
Trevor

Trevor Surridge
Project Coordinator
Climate-friendly sanitation services in peri-urban areas of Lusaka (CFS-Lusaka) project
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  • secretariat
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Re: Why was I suddenly logged out? Or: I received a “session time out” message – What does it mean?

We have set up the system so that normally you can stay logged in for eight hours. Once you click on the forum page (like submitting a post or saving something) the eight hour time period restarts again. After eight hours of inactivity, you will see the message “session time out” and you will have to login again. We have done this because we think it is safer this way so that other people cannot post under your name in case you have left your computer while being logged in.

Our experience is that it is best to tick the box "remember me" when you login if you want to remain logged in for a long time. Normally this means that you even stay logged in over night if you have put your computer on standby. Here you can see the "remember me" box in the red square:




However, sometimes you might get "kicked out" (or logged out) earlier than after eight hours. If that happens, either your browser settings or your internet connection might be the source of the problem:
  1. If you have deactivated your cookies, it could happen that your browser allows your session to time out earlier.
  2. Perhaps your browser has updated itself and is not recognising the session cookies as it did before. Clear your cookies and if the problem persists please flag it to us so that we can look into it (e-mail to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.).
  3. Depending on the security settings of your browser, when you close your browser you may also be automatically logged out.
  4. If you have an unstable internet connection, you may be logged out when the internet connection is (temporarily) broken *
Therefore, you could try adjusting your browser settings accordingly.

And:
Better safe than sorry: if you plan to write a long post, we suggest that you write the text in Word or an editor window first. Or you can simply copy your posting by using the control+c key combination before clicking on the "submit" button below (and paste it with control+v if needed, i.e. if you discover that you have been logged out).

Be careful: You might have been logged out while you were writing a long post and only find out after you click the "submit" button - but then your post is lost already! This is super annoying (sorry if that happens)! So if you have ever experienced unvoluntary log-outs, please always copy your post first before clicking on "submit".

If you have other suggestions or questions, please put them here by replying to this thread.

Regards,
Enno, Elisabeth and Trevor


* A good alternative for contributing to the forum when having an unstable internet connection is to use our "contribute by e-mail functionality" by sending an e-mail to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Read more about this here: forum.susana.org/forum/categories/135-qu...forum-by-e-mail#3019 .

Posted by a member of the SuSanA secretariat held by the GIZ Sustainable sanitation sector program
Located at Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH, Eschborn, Germany
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  • canaday
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Re: Why was I suddenly logged out? Or: I received a “session time out” message – What does it mean?

Hi,

Thanks for this info. Lots of mystery still. For example, "Remembering" the password should in theory be independent from logging out from inactivity.

A key point that I did not imagine is the shakiness of one's internet connection, which likely is the problem I have had here in Ecuador, where the internet is unstable.

Here are some potential ways to improve this:
1) Have the system ask us again for our passwords, if an unusual amount of time has passed, instead of dumping the message that has just been written. In fact, it could ask us for our password at each submission, which would not be a terrible inconvenience. (In any case, 8 hours is a very long time in the risky places, like internet cafes and large offices.)
2) Save messages periodically and automatically (as in Gmail).
3) Restart the time with each keystroke in a message.
4) Add a message on the screen suggesting that one save a copy before clicking submit.

What are the worst things that could happen if an account is commandeered?
a) That person learns more about Sustainable Sanitation.
b) Spam gets sent and we block the account.

Best wishes,
Chris Canaday

Conservation Biologist and EcoSan Promoter
Omaere Ethnobotanical Park
Puyo, Pastaza, Ecuador, South America
inodoroseco.blogspot.com
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  • muench
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Re: Why was I suddenly logged out? Or: I received a “session time out” message – What does it mean?

Dear Chris,

Thanks for your good ideas.
I agree with you, the connection between ticking "remember me" and not being logged out makes no sense really. I have just accepted it because it works for me. :S

Your suggestions are interesting. We just have to keep in mind that we are using an existing forum software (called Kunena) and didn't build it from scratch. So we are a bit limited and can't program everything we want. I must say, I would also love to have a "save draft" option for a post, this is something that I am really missing. I will ask Steffen (our IT guy), but I am pretty certain it would be too complicated to program.

But your suggestion 4) is a good one which should be easy to set up. It could be a small text below or to the left of the Submit button saying: „Copy your post with Ctrl+c before clicking on “submit” if your internet connection is unstable“.

And about that security issue, I also think the risk is quite low. Mind you, I hate spam so your point b) (Spam gets sent and we block the account.) is not to be taken lightly. Spammers keep on trying, and about once a week or once a fortnight we have to delete a spam post. It's really important that we catch and delete spam quickly to protect our readers from wasting their time and getting annoyed.

Regards,
Elisabeth

P.S. Edit on 23 July 2013:

The hint about copying before submitting has now been included, see screenshot below (where the read arrow is pointing):
Edited on 28 June, 2017

Community manager and chief moderator of this forum
(Funded via GIZ short term consultancy contract)

Dr. Elisabeth von Muench
Independent consultant located in Brisbane, Australia
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. Twitter: @EvMuench
Sanitation Wikipedia project leader: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:WikiProject_Sanitation
My Wikipedia user profile: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:EMsmile
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