How to Fix Website Security Certificate Error

Recently one of our website visitor emailed us saying that they were getting some error on a website which said ‘Security Certificate Expired‘ and were worried if their computer was attached with a virus or else if the website had some issues. This had happened actually with two different websites ie one with a Online banking website and another shopping portal. If there is a fix for this kind of problem it would have been a great solution.

Before we start working on the issue of expired certificate, you need to understand what is a security certificate. Basically this is a key which is used to decrypt encrypted messages by an authenticated message receiver. These certificates are normally found on the websites which require users to send or receive important and confidential information like passwords, credit card details, banking information etc, hence most of these data is encrypted and the same is acknowledged in the form of a certificate.

The errors would show different kind of messages for different web browsers like in the Microsoft Internet Explorer you would see a message saying there is a problem with this website security certificate, in Firefox you would get a error message saying Secure Connection failed and in the Google Chrome browser you will get a message saying that the server’s security certificate is not yet valid.

One quick solution for this would be to change the date on your computer. This means that all these secure websites are given security certificates for a time period and when this expires you get a error message on your screen. Hence changing your computer’s date would make the certificate still valid and make your browsing experience with no errors.

Expired Certificate Time Change

Another way to fix these errors is by modifying some of the settings in your web browser to by pass these errors. In the Internet Explorer browser you need to click on Tools > Internet Options > Advanced > Uncheck on ‘Check for publisher’s certificate revocation’ option. Thats it from now on Internet Explorer Browser wont be checking for the certificate whenever you access any of these kind of websites.

Internet Explorer Security Certificate Expired

For Firefox Browser you need to Go to Tools > Options > Advanced > Encryption Tab > Validation. Here uncheck the option which says ‘Use the Online Certificate Status Protocol (OCSP) to confirm the current validity of certificates. This would disable the browser for checking these certificates and display you the errors.

Firefox Certificate Validation

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About Amit Bhawani

My name is Amit Bhawani and I am the chief blogger at Amit Bhawani Blog and where I like to share my internet/tech experience with my online readers on this website. You can read more about me at my About Page. You can follow me on Twitter, Facebook & Google +1 at +Amit Bhawani

Comments

  1. B. Baskel says:

    I’ve been researching this error on Facebook. I see NUMEROUS sites that say “Oh, just check, your clock is probably set wrong, just set it correctly and it’ll fix the problem”. Well, guess what folks, I’m running Windows XP, I’ve got my clock set to automatically set itself to the Internet, the clock is CORRECT, yet when I try to sign onto Facebook, I get errors that say (in Google Chrome, for example) “This is probably not the site you are looking for!
    You attempted to reach login.facebook.com, but instead you actually reached a server identifying itself as a248.e.akamai.net. This may be caused by a misconfiguration on the server or by something more serious. An attacker on your network could be trying to get you to visit a fake (and potentially harmful) version of login.facebook.com. You should not proceed.”
    I’ve found a couple sites referencing this error (which I recognize is different from the not yet valid certificate error mentioned above), and the only fix I see offered is “make sure your clock is set right”. This only seems to occur when I try to log into facebook. Haven’t encountered the problem anywhere else. I’ll go in and clear the certificates cache, and sometimes (not always) that’ll make it work… for a time. Then this same problem crops back up again. Any suggestions would be appreciated!

  2. Many times I have found my Windows XP PC not taking the correct time although I edit the timing everytime, when a restart is done, it changes it time.

  3. B. Baskel is right, it’s not a date/time problem, it’s a Chrome problem, which Google is unwilling to hire some genuine coders to fix.

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