LOCKED OUT: "It Says I Am "Locked Out" - Now What?" (0408-4072)
Our website uses a system to spot duplicate logins and lock out that member's access to the site. That is to keep people from sharing their password with other folks. Unfortunately, the technology isn't 100% accurate as it often detects a member who is doing one of the following...
LOGGED IN ON TWO COMPUTERS: Many people have several computers in their home and if you don't click "LOGOUT" before logging in from a second computer, the system locks your account. To prevent this, click LOGOUT when leaving one computer and going to another one.
USING TWO DIFFERENT WEB BROWSERS AT SAME TIME: If you are using one web browser (Internet Explorer for example) and then switch to another web browser (Firefox for example) without logging out from the first one, the system will see this as two users sharing one account and lock the account. To prevent this, click LOGOUT when leaving one browser and starting another one.
Our system includes a "timer" that logs you out automatically after 30 minutes if you don't change pages within our site during that 30 minutes. This is to assist people who forgot to logout when they were finished using the site. It keeps their next login from being detected as a duplicate login when they come back to the site the next time. One common scenario for this to happen is if you login while at work and forget to logout. You drive home and login again from your home computer. With the timer system, your work computer will have been logged out automatically before you get home, unless your drive home is less than 30 minutes.
There are other system checks to keep people from sharing passwords such as checking IP address of where a person is loggin in from, and other systems that we don't publicize. But the bottom line is, you may be locked out at some time, even though you didn't share your username and password with anyone else, because our systems are not perfect.
IF YOU HAVE BEEN LOCKED OUT...
First, relax and take a deep breath. Exhale slowly. Welcome to the "I've been locked out club." Even as owner of the website, I have been locked out many times. Because I do all the above things too. I login from one computer then switch to a different one and BAM! I'm locked out too. Fortunately I have several additional usernames that I can use to get back in right away. How embarrassing when it's your own site and that happens!
We will unlock your access... As soon as you are locked out, our system sends an email alert with details to our webmaster email box. We can see what happened and can unlock your access for you. We normally see it within an hour or so unless it happens in the middle of the night USA time.
You can email us... You can send us an email saying "I'm Locked Out" and we will unlock your access as soon as we see the email. Sometimes we miss emails so this is really a duplication of the one above but heck, no harm done sending us an email.
24 Hour Auto-Reset... Our system will unlock your account automatically in 24 hours the first few times you get locked out. So even if we don't notice you were locked out and unlock you manually, your access will be restored in 24 hours.
How To Prevent Lockouts...
If you read through the triggers listed above that cause a lockout you can see that using the LOGOUT link when you're finished using the site can help prevent lockouts. The hard part for me is remembering to logout if I'm going to switch web browsers. I do that all the time.