why-isn't-this-workingWebsites that offer paid subscriptions for access to premium content are on the rise. The unique premium content they offer is highly-valued by subject matter and industry experts.

A client emailed me while she was traveling and asked why she couldn’t access the content that she had paid for from her Safari browser on iOS (on an iPhone). She logged into the website of the content provider, correctly entered her credentials, but could not get past their login page.

The culprit? Third-party cookie blocking. It’s maddening, because this is a setting that, as a best practice, users should have enabled to “block” on their iOS device.

Not all websites are created equal, nor are they developed using the same standards. I instructed my client to:

Tap Settings > Safari > Block Cookies

and tell me which one of the following is checked: Always Block, Allow from Current Websites Only, Allow from Websites I Visit, or Always Allow. “Always Block” was checked. By temporarily setting Block Cookies to “Always Allow,” my client was able to sign in and access the content she paid for.

Frustratingly, she must also remember to go back to Settings > Safari > Cookies and return the status to “Always Block” when she is finished, to keep her safe while she’s on the road.

No good security maneuver goes unpunished, I guess. Blocking third party cookies is always a best practice, particularly on a mobile device. There are occasional exceptions to the rule, such as this example. The important things to remember are how to temporarily disable the blocking and then to remember to re-enable third party cookie blocking following the completion of the article viewing session.


About the author:  At Your Service Cincinnati principal & founder Nora Rubinoff’s core services include online business management, event management, project management, customer relationship management, customized e-mail marketing campaigns, social media management, WordPress support, online reputation management, and productivity enhancement. Nora is enthusiastic about architecting solutions that enable clients to make more out of their business day. Nora is a recipient of the Karen S. House Award for Regional Collaboration as well as the Women of Excellence Award, several state and local government proclamations and holds the IVAA EthicsCheck™ certification. Nora serves on the American Lung Association Regional council, and is a past board member for IVAA and The West Chester Liberty Chamber Alliance. Nora is a hiker, biker, stair climber, walker, and an old VW fanatic. She is bi-lingual, speaking both Mac and PC. She resides in West Chester with her husband. Read more from this author