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Does Facebook Log You Out When You Close It?

by Sarah Morse

If you have ever accidentally left your Facebook page logged-in at a public place like a library or campus center, you probably know the possible consequences. Unless you are lucky, you will find something along the lines of embarrassing photos, profile changes and status updates. Whether or not Facebook keeps you logged in after closing a browser depends on your Facebook and browser settings. Avoid the hassle by remembering to log out every time.

"Keep me Logged In"

If you check "Keep me logged in" while signing into Facebook, you will not be logged out when you close the window. This may seem obvious, but if you use Facebook on the same computer as others, forgetting to uncheck the box is an easy oversight to make. If someone signs in and checks the "Keep me logged in" box, and then you use the same computer later and log her out before signing in yourself, the box will remain checked for your session if you don't explicitly uncheck it -- so you will remain logged in even when you close the window and shut down the computer.

Logging Out

If you close Facebook by logging out, you will not stay logged in. This is a much safer route than closing the window and hoping it will log you out. To exit a profile, click the gear in the upper right corner and select "Log Out." Once you see the Facebook login screen you are safe to leave the computer.

Additionally, if you forget to log out from a computer, you can remotely do so. Sign in to your account, click the gear in the right corner, choose "Privacy Settings" and then "Security" from the left sidebar. Click on "Active Sessions," look for any devices that aren't yours, and click "End Activity" to log these out.

Cookies

When you use Facebook, your browser downloads cookies that store information and sometimes sends that information back to Facebook. Whether you close your browser or log out of Facebook, or do both, the cookies do not disappear until cleared. This means that even when you properly log out, Facebook can still track your activity. In a way, you're still logged into the network, even though you can't see your profile or friends. Facebook denies using this information, but some speculate that the company could do so (see Resources).

Other Logout Options

If you find yourself often closing the browser without logging out, you need other options. The major browsers -- including Internet Explorer, Chrome and Mozilla Firefox -- have private browsing session options that do not keep cookies or record data. These will automatically log you out of Facebook when you close the window.

Some browsers also have add-ons that enable you to automatically log out when you close the window or are inactive a certain amount of time. These require downloading, however, so they are not a good choice for public computer use.

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About the Author

Sarah Morse has been a writer since 2009, covering environmental topics, gardening and technology. She holds a bachelor's degree in English language and literature, a master's degree in English and a master's degree in information science.

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