I am in an Internet Café because roadworks in front of the house damaged the phone cable.

Here's what I did:

  • I logged in to Google

  • I logged in to Stack Overflow by clicking on the Google OpenID logo

  • I answered a question

  • I logged out from SO

  • I logged out from Google

  • I opened Meta on some afterthought

  • A pop-up appeared saying "Welcome back Pekka! You are logged in."

  • I am logged in to Meta while logged out from the parent site, and from Google (I just checked).

This is not nice, as it would allow people in the Internet Café to post on Meta in my name if I have logged in and out from SO proper, wouldn't it? Unless I'd clear cookies and the history etc., but I won't remember that every time.

I may be a) overlooking some status-bydesign aspect or b) overlooking a duplicate, in which case apologies in advance.

Update: I just explicitly logged out from Meta, performed a "Delete the last hour's personal data..." in Firefox (I don't know what it's named in english) closed the browser, opened it and was auto-logged again!

Update 2: Not even deleting all meta.stackoverflow.com cookies manually and restarting the browser helps. I still get cheerfully greeted by name. I'm going home now, hoping that no visiting fellow Meta user will ever end up on Seat No. 6 at Tele Spass Internet Café, Cologne!

  • 2
    How do internet cafes work? I would have thought they cleared out everything between sessions.
    – mmyers
    Commented Aug 30, 2010 at 18:47
  • 2
    Is that why it looks like you've asked a bunch of questions about coffee recently?
    – user27414
    Commented Aug 30, 2010 at 18:48
  • 1
    @mmyers, the better ones do, but some don't.
    – Zoredache
    Commented Aug 30, 2010 at 18:49
  • 1
    @mmyers they often do, but not always. Internet cafés and call shops are such a booming business in european cities (probably everywhere else as well) that many are in shabby shape in terms of security. At least, the owner upgraded from IE 6 to 8 since I was last here. :)
    – Pekka
    Commented Aug 30, 2010 at 18:50
  • 1
    @Jon B are you saying "what's your favourite brand of espresso" is not programming related?
    – Pekka
    Commented Aug 30, 2010 at 18:50
  • @Pekka - uh oh... I feel another "keyboard for programmers" question coming on...
    – user27414
    Commented Aug 30, 2010 at 18:53
  • 1
    BTW, I cleared all the cookies and settings in a browser and tested the above, and I can confirm the behavior. I have signed out of my openid provider, stackoverflow, and meta.stackoverlow, but system still did an auto-login when I visited serverfault.com
    – Zoredache
    Commented Aug 30, 2010 at 19:18
  • Related: Tell me how to log out of Stack Exchange OpenID Commented Jan 3, 2018 at 14:31

2 Answers 2


Now "Log Out Everywhere" on the /users/logout page will also clear your global login credentials.

New text reads:

If you are logged in to Stack Overflow through multiple computers and wish to logout from them all, or you are using a public computer, click below.

Auto login isn't cookie based, for various (annoying) technical reasons.

Depending on your browser, clearing history/cache/cookies may or may not destroy the "login token".

To be sure:
Go Here

  • When I visit that link I get a Oops! Something Bad Happened! ff3.6/win7. Also, is that in linked in the UI somewhere?
    – Zoredache
    Commented Aug 30, 2010 at 22:43
  • @Zoredache - hmm, works for me in FF3.6.8 on Win7-64. Here's an alternative link. That link isn't going to be live forever though, and provides no UI feedback (expect a blank screen). Commented Aug 30, 2010 at 23:05
  • 3
    Can that feature have UI feedback and be documented, please? :) Commented Aug 30, 2010 at 23:11
  • @Maxim - the first link is, in fact, UI tastic. Documentation will be coming when the feature is announced. Commented Aug 30, 2010 at 23:33

Clear all the cookies/history before leaving, or use a portableapps browser so all your session information is saved on your personal USB drive.

If you are really paranoid use a live CD if that is permitted.

Even if a SE network wide logout was implemented (there really should be one if there isn't already) I would not entirely trust everything to be cleared.

  • yup, that's definitely what I'll be doing. But if I'm explicitly logged out from the parent page, I shouldn't be auto-logged in to Meta. If I'm not overlooking something, that is a real bug.
    – Pekka
    Commented Aug 30, 2010 at 18:53
  • @Pekka - don't forget MSO is a special case now.
    – ChrisF Mod
    Commented Aug 30, 2010 at 18:55

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