Question of the Week
Should I check the "Stay signed in" box when I log into my Gmail account?
-- Dechen, Motithang HSS
Like so many other questions, the very short answer is: it depends. And now for the longer answer...
The "Stay signed in" feature is designed to make life easier. Here's how it works: If you check the box when you sign in, then the next time you visit your Gmail account on that computer you will automatically be logged in. This is very convenient, since it saves your from re-entering your user name and password every time. But there's a big drawback: If the computer is public and is used by other people - for example, in an Internet cafe, the public library or the youth centre - then people who use the computer after you will be able to go to your account and read your email. The consequences of this can range from "embarrassing" to "devastating". So when using a public computer, make sure the box is not checked.
Even when the computer is at home, and is used by some of your family members, you will probably want to make sure that the "Stay signed in" box is not checked, just in in case your little brother is a bit too curious to see what his older sibling is up to...
Other email services and websites have similar options. For example, when you log into Facebook, the box is called "Keep me logged in". Yahoo! Mail's version is called "Keep me signed in" , etc. etc. It's all the same.
To be on the safe side, it is always a good idea to sign out after you finish reading your email or done chatting on Facebook. Look for the "sign out" or "log out" button or link. On Facebook, for example, click on the small triangle on the top-right corner of the screen, and then select "Log out".
So when should you check the box? If you have your own laptop which no one else is using, then feel free to check the box. Just make sure to protect your laptop with a strong Windows password, in case your laptop gets into the wrong hands.