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PC device ID

  • 1 reply
  • 1 has this problem
  • Last reply by jscher2000

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I'm a long time user of Firefox and have an email acct at AOL. Several days ago, as I was logging into AOL email (from Windows PC) I received a new notice that the login did not match my device and I would need to use a 2nd verify code (via cellphone). That worked and all was well. The next time I tried to log into AOL, the sequence repeated ... so, where does Firefox keep its host PC's ID ... can it be edited ? .... why did this start --- did I get hacked?

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Hi lonmpat, there are a lot of sites that use multi-factor authentication to prevent strangers who learned/guessed your password from being able to log in successfully. Usually after you enter the code, the site sets a cookie in the browser and as long as the browser can show the site that cookie, then you do not need to do the extra authentication again.

So my suspicion is that the AOL cookies -- or at least that one -- are getting removed. Do you remove or limit any type of history in Firefox? Do you use any cookie-related add-ons?

Another possible explanation is if your IP address is not stable. Sites may consider that suspicious and require re-authentication. There is one setting I can suggest checking for that:

  • Windows: "3-bar" menu button (or Tools menu) > Options
  • Mac: "3-bar" menu button (or Firefox menu) > Preferences
  • Linux: "3-bar" menu button (or Edit menu) > Preferences
  • Any system: type or paste about:preferences into the address bar and press Enter/Return to load it

In the tiny search box at the top of the page, type proxy and Firefox should filter to the "Settings" button, which you can click.

"Auto-detect" can lead to a flaky connection. The default of "Use system proxy settings" piggybacks on your Windows/IE "LAN" setting. You may want to try "No proxy" if you don't need to use a proxy.

Any difference?