"I'm a total access member but can't read the hot news stories or the insiders articles. The front page is all I get. Please help me!"

We see emails like this one fairly often, and have helped a number of Panther fans get access to all the subscriber portions of the web site. In fact, we see this problem often enough that we've put together this article to explain how you can solve it yourself.

Here are the steps we walk subscribers through:
 

STEP 1: Make sure you're properly logged in to PantherDigest.com

One of the most common problems is that - for whatever reason - you've simply been logged off the web site. This can actually happen without your knowledge, if a cookie (see below) has expired or been deleted or if another user logs you off the site. If that's the case, generally you simply have to log back in to get access to everything.

To verify that you're logged in, take a look the area toward the upper right of this page and compare it to the two examples below:

LOGGED IN

If you are properly logged in, your
email address will show in the area
in the upper right of our home page.

NOT LOGGED IN

If you are not logged in, the "Login"
link will appear on the home page
and you will not see your email
address.

If you are not logged in, simply click here to sign onto Panther Digest.

 

STEP 2: Is this the Right Account?

Take a moment to verify that the log-in you're using is the log-in that has a premium account. We have had some instances where fans set up multiple accounts and simply were logging in under one which didn't have a Total Access Pass attached. If you have your original email receipt from when you purchased a TAP, you might want to take a look at that to ensure you're using the right email address.

If you've never registered more than once, and are sure that the log-in you're using is correct, proceed to Step 3.


STEP 3: The Ol' Log-out Log-in

If you've tried logging in and are sure that you're using the right account, we suggest that you first try logging out of the website via the "Logout" link in the upper right area. Then shut down your browser, open it up again, and try logging in. This often fixes "corrupt" cookies, and can help solve the problem quickly.

If you've tried logging out and then back in, and still don't have access to subscriber areas, continue to Step 4.


STEP 4: Check Your Web Browser Settings

In recent years, web browsers have begun to include means for users to determine for themselves how they want to approach their privacy on the internet.

4A. A Matter of Trust

Your browser needs to recognize our servers and domains as trustworthy. If your security levels are set "high" it may be blocking stopping us from identifying you uniquely, important for your and our security. For example, if you are using Microsoft Windows and Internet Explorer, open up the Control Panel, then Internet Options, then Security, and add "pittsburgh.scout.com" and "scout.com" as trusted sites. Exit your web browser and then start it back up again. Then try logging in to Panther Digest again.

4B. Are Cookies Enabled?

Many login problems can be attributed directly to incompatible browser settings.  The next thing you should do is make sure that your browser can properly accept cookies.

In the most recent version of Internet Explorer, the following steps should ensure that our cookies aren't being blocked by our browser.

  1. Select Tools/Internet Options... from the main Internet Explorer menu bar
  2. Click on the Privacy tab
  3. Click Advanced...
  4. Put a check in the box for Override automatic cookie handling
  5. Under "First-party Cookies", select Accept
  6. Under "Third-party Cookies", select Block
  7. Put a check in the box for Always allow session cookies

Try logging in again.  If this did not solve the problem, move on to step 5.


STEP 5: The Cookie Monster

If your login is accepted and you are still having trouble accessing subscriber content, chances are that the "cookie" left behind by the site during the login process is either being blocked or has gotten corrupted.

A cookie is a small file left by most web sites that contains information that the site needs to remember your identity and preferences. If you want to learn more about cookies, here is more information courtesy of Microsoft. Here's a more technical explanation from About.com, if you like reading about such things.

Do the following to make sure that there aren't things on your PC which are stopping cookies from working...

5A. Determine if a security application or firewall on your PC is blocking cookies

A personal firewall or security software may be blocking our server from writing data to a cookie which is stored on your computer. Third party programs such as firewall software (ZoneAlarm and Norton Personal Firewall) can block cookies as well. Make sure that your firewall software is set to allow cookies from pittsburgh.scout.com and scout.com. We've also found special purpose utilities such as Cookie Cop and Cookie Pal that have been blocking cookies from being written.

Check the programs which are in your start-up folder and residing on your task bar to see if any of them might be blocking our cookies from being written. 

5B. Check your system time and date

Check that your computer's date and time is relatively accurate. If the date or time is way off, the cookies may be expiring...thus causing you problems.

If you've verified that neither of the above could be interfering with the cookies on your system, and you still can't log in, go to Step 6.


STEP 6: The Infernal Cookie Massacre

Yes, it's true. You now must delete some cookies. Because some of your cookies may have been corrupted, you should delete all cookies from pittsburgh.scout.com and scout.com on your local PC. Then go back to http://pittsburgh.scout.com and log in, creating new cookies on your PC.

Years ago, it was hard to find and remove specific cookies, but newer browsers have this capability easily available. Here's how to delete a cookie in in most current browsers:

  1. Windows XP (Internet Explorer)
     
    • Look under C:Documents and Settings\(your user name)\cookies
      "Your user name" is the username on your computer NOT your username for our forums.
       
    • Select cookies from pittsburgh.scout.com and scout.com. They should look like Cookie:yourname@scout.com and so forth.
       
    • Delete all the cookies identified above.
       
  2. Internet Explorer 6 - Windows 98:
    • In Internet Explorer, on the Tools menu, click Internet Options.
       
    • On the General tab, click Settings, and then click View files.
       
    • Click "Name" at the top of the column to put the files in alphabetical order.
       
    • Select the cookies from "scout.com" and "pittsburgh.scout.com". They should be titled something like: Cookie:yourname@scout.com
       
    • Select the cookie you want to delete, and then, on the File menu, click Delete.
       
  3. Firefox 1.0 - All Platforms
    • Select Tools and then Options on the Firefox menu
       
    • Select the "Privacy" icon
       
    • Click on the + sign to the left of "Cookies" to expand the options
       
    • Click the "View Cookies" button
       
    • On the dialog box that appears, select all cookies from "scout.com" and "pittsburgh.scout.com". Click "Remove Cookies" (*** NOT "Remove All Cookies" ***)
       
    • Click "OK" on the cookies dialog box and the Options dialog box.
       
  4. Windows 98
    • On the desktop, click on "Windows Explorer"
       
    • On the left side fo the screen, scroll down to your C drive
       
    • Click on the + sign (if there is a - sign there, the contents of your C drive are already displayed)
       
    • Scroll down to "Windows"
       
    • Click on the + sign
       
    • Scroll down to "Temporary Internet Files"
       
    • At this point, you can either delete all your temporary files, or scroll down on the right hand side of the screen til you find the scout.com cookies and delete just those.
       
  5. Internet Explorer 5 - Macintosh:
    • Select "Preferences" from the "Edit" menu.
       
    • Select "cookies" under "Receiving Files" from the list at the left.
       
    • In the list on the right, select the cookies files from "scout.com" and "pittsburgh.scout.com"
       
    • Click "Delete"
       
    • Click "OK"
       
  6. Netscape 6 - Macintosh:
    • Select "Preferences" from the "Edit" menu.
       
    • Click the little triangle next to "Privacy & Security", then click on "Cookies"
       
    • Click "View Stored Cookies"
       
    • If you click on "Site" at the top of the list it will sort them by site.
       
    • Scroll down to and select the cookies from from "scout.com" and "pittsburgh.scout.com"
       
    • Click on "Remove Cookie"
       
    • Click "OK"


STEP 7: Contact the Webmaster

If you've done everything exactly as listed above and your problem persists, click right here and contact us with your particular issue. Please let us know the following:

1. When you attempt to login and it fails, does it report your login information as invalid or... appear to work but doesn't report you as logged in at the top of the screen?

2. Does the system return any information when you try to log in or does it take you to the home page?

3. What operating system and browser are you using?