How to Get Rid of a Certificate Error

by Contributing Writer ; Updated September 28, 2017

To protect users from viruses, spyware and other malicious software, web browsers such as Internet Explorer, Firefox and Safari have systems in place to identify secure sites. A file called a certificate is placed on a secure server to establish the identity and authenticity of the merchant or company behind the site. These are typically sites that require access to your personal information (banking, credit cards, Social Security number) and therefore must identify themselves to the browser. Sometimes, though, if a secure site's certificate is written incorrectly, it can produce an error. If you are certain a site is secure, you can easily clear these errors and access the site.

Identify the type of error. There are three types of errors that can appear when handling certificates: Your computer does not recognize the certificate, the certificate is out of date (expired), or there is an incorrect URL attached to the certificate. To identify the error, attempt to reproduce it by visiting the site. The error should give some information as to why the validation did not succeed.

Click on View Certificates in the address bar (Internet Explorer). If you're using a different browser, select the option that allows you to view your current certificates.

Click on Install Certificate (Internet Explorer). On other browsers, select the option that allows you to install or add a certificate to the browser. After you've clicked Install Certificate, click Next.

Set the location where the certificate will be stored. This should be determined for you and set to the browser's default location. To finish the installation, click Next. Then click Finish.

Confirm the install by clicking Yes. After you've done this, the certificate should be installed. The next time that you visit the site, you should not receive an error.

Tip

  • Avoid suspicious sites. Even if your computer is secure with anti-virus software, these sites can still infect your computer.

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