Best practices tips from our Jackrabbit Support Team.

Understanding the Effect of Cookies When Using Jackrabbit

“Maybe” it’s time to go on a Diet. 

Never fear you can eat as many cookies as you like and continue to use Jackrabbit.  We wouldn’t do that to you!  However, the word cookie can mean other things.  Specifically, as it relates to your browser and your use of Jackrabbit.  This can also affect your parents!  By understanding what these non-calorie inducing cookies do, you can help your parents avoid frustration! 

What is a cookie?

Cookies are basically a message type used by web browsers that help websites remember and apply information learned about the user when they are using the site.  The most common cookie is for ads.  For example, cookies are used when you search for something on Amazon, then later see an ad for that same thing on Facebook. This is because your web browser stored a cookie about your interests, then Facebook applied that cookie to get your attention with an ad.  You have probably seen Zippy follow you around the internet…. that happens because you are visiting Jackrabbit a lot!

Why are cookies important for Jackrabbit?

Cookies are not specific to ads.  A lot of Jackrabbit’s functions utilize cookies to remember how the customer uses the database. Jackrabbit’s primary use for cookies is to store a session ID that tells the site who the user is each time they navigate to a new page. Another example of the use of cookies specific to Jackrabbit would be when you go to List All families, scroll down, and choose a family. Then you click return and it remembers where you were rather than taking you to the top of the list.

Because Jackrabbit uses cookies to verify the session ID on every page, the user cannot get past the login screen when cookies are disabled. They enter their information, click login (on Parent Portal OR Jackrabbit itself) and then a screen comes up saying that their session has timed out. In other words – Jackrabbit was unable to verify they were in a live session.

Jackrabbit was working fine – what changed?

When a third party browser software such as Explorer/Edge, Chrome or Safari does an update, it can sometimes reset the browsers cookie settings. We have seen this recently with Internet Explorer and Edge – Support saw an increase in tickets where parents were unable to login to the Parent Portal using Edge as their browser.  Those darn cookies!

Issues with cookies often surface when someone is using a mobile device (i.e., iPhone).  Phone Browsers force updates more often and more visibly.  With updates, Browsers may reset cookie settings and new problems surface as a result.  Suddenly they can’t use Jackrabbit or Jackrabbit apps on their mobile device until they allow cookies again.

Some common messages that people get when cookies have been disabled and they try to login are:

Jackrabbit – Click Log In and see this message: “This function requires that you be signed in. Signin and try again. Session timed out or no longer valid. Please re-login.”

Parent Portal – Click Sign In and see this pop-up: “It appears your session is no longer valid. Please login again.”

Staff Portal – Staff member will try to login and it reverts them back to the location selector.

So, what should you do before contacting Jackrabbit Support?  Double check your browser and make sure that cookies are allowed.

Don’t know how to do that?  Hit google!  Search on something like “resetting cookies in Safari”  “enabling cookies in Edge”.  There will be a wealth of information returned to you specific to your browser and device.

You can find this and other Best Practices articles in the Jackrabbit Help Center!


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