Frequently Asked Questions

Access & Registration

  1. I clicked to post a new message or and was taken to a page that invited me to choose a username. What is going on?
  2. I have entered my Username and Password but I see an error saying that the next page cannot be loaded. What is going on?
  3. I am not behind a firewall but when I enter my Username and Password I see an error saying that the next page cannot be loaded. What is going on?
  4. None of that helped -- what else can I do?
  5. What is a Cookie?
  6. How do I enable Cookies?

Q1. I clicked to post a new message or and was taken to a page that invited me to choose a username. What is going on?

If you registered on the Fool site a few years ago you would only have been asked for your email address. That is sufficient to uniquely identify you. However if you want to post a message (or a poll) on our discussion boards you need to pick a username that will get shown as the author of the message (we don't want to use your email address, for obvious privacy reasons!).

So, before you can post on the discussion boards, you must choose a username. Afterwards you can continue to login using your full email address, or you can just type the username, which is likely to be shorter. When you post a message on the discussion boards we will use your username to display as the Author no matter which way you login.

Q2. I have entered my Username and Password but I see an error saying that the next page cannot be loaded. What is going on?

Maybe you're trying to access the Fool from behind a company firewall? If so, you may need to ask your IT support department to adjust your security settings to allow access to the Fool login page. The Fool's login procedure includes a secure page (known as a HTTPS page).

Some corporate firewalls are set this way so as to prevent any sensitive data or documents being sent off the premises, some to prevent staff from buying stuff on the internet when they should working :-). Sometimes the firewall will be set that way just because that is the way it came out of the box. Obviously however, it will be up to your IT department whether they want to allow you access to our site.

Q3. I am not behind a firewall but when I enter my Username and Password I see an error saying that the next page cannot be loaded. What is going on?

There are at least three possibilities.

  1. It is possible that your browser is not accpeting/blocking cookies - see How do I enable Cookies? below - or has the Fool listed as a restricted site (you'll need to check your specific broswer's security settings).
  2. Have you got a 'cookie manager' or othe privacy programme running? You may need to set the Fool as an exempt site.
  3. And, lastly, you could try emptying all your temporary internet files - sometimes it helps. (You'll need to check how to do that in your specific browser.)

Q4. None of that helped -- what else can I do?

If none of the above helped you could try visiting our diagnose page

It will tell you whether you appear to be behind a firewall or are refusing cookies. Also check if there are any error messages, text in red or if you are forwarded to any other page.

If you are still none the wiser perhaps you need some human help - just contact us at customer services, givng as many details of the problem as you can - e.g., which page are you trying to log in at? Which page do you end up at? Do you get any error messages? (they will usually be in red) - and we'll be happy to help. The more details you can provide about what happens - or doesn't - the more likely we are to be able to put things right (or, at least, work out what might be wrong).

Q5. What is a cookie?

A cookie is a small text file that is placed on your hard drive by a web site that you visit. It is basically used to identify you (eg, for log in purposes). A cookie cannot be executed as code or deliver viruses. It can only be read by the server that gave it to you.

There's a longer (but still brief) explanation on CookieCentral and a more detailed one on Wikipedia.

Q6. How do I enable Cookies?

There are now so many different browsers (eg, IE, Firefox, Chrome, Opera, Safari), with so many different versions of each, running on so many different platforms (Windows XP, Vista, 7, Mac OSX, Linux, etc) that it's not practical for us to provide detailed instructions for all of them, and to then keep them up to date.

However, each browser should include a 'Help' option that will address the issue of cookies and how to enable them. (In Windows try pressing 'F1' when using your browser.)

Alternatively, a web search for 'enable cookies ' should provide a large number of results.

And if you really get stuck, you can always contact us at customer services, telling us what browser, and version, you're using, and we'll hunt out the information you need to enable cookies in it.


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