Musings of a rugby-obsessed tech guru. Let's solve some digital drama!

Troubleshoot #1: Fixing Why Firefox Says, “This Connection is Untrusted,” On Every Site You Visit

Firefox users from time-to-time may see the above message. Now, depending on the website you are visiting, this message could serve as either a warning or an error. If you’re not sure which of the two it could be, the easiest way to get some kind of an idea is to look at your computer’s Time & Date settings. If you’re date and time are correct, interpret this as a warning and click on the “Get me out of here!” button. If you’re date and time are incorrect, this message is more likely due to an error with your system.

Why Does the Message Appear On Every Page?
This happens because according to your system, the certificate of the website you are trying to access is invalid. Before jumping to conclusion, have you recently reinstalled your computer’s operating system? If so, have you checked to make sure that your “Date & Time” settings are accurate? I ask this because the website you are trying to load is sending your computer a digital certificate which contains 2 important dates: a date of issuance, and expiration, both of which must be valid in order for you to view the page.

What Is The Digital Certificate?
Without getting too “nerdy” on you, whenever you go to a website, your computer requires verified, valid proof of the website’s identity. This is done using signed certificates sent directly from the website to your computer. It ensures that your personal information remains “your personal information,” and is most commonly used with websites whose address starts with https–usually requiring the user to log in with a username and password (“Public key certificate,” 2011).

Because your computer relies on its internal clock, if it is incorrectly set (whether by a minute, day, month, year, decade, etc.) while you’re trying to access a website, the certificate that is issued from the website, stamped with the correct date, is considered invalid because the computer can’t verify something whose date of issuance hasn’t systematically “happened,” or whose expiration date has already passed.

FOR WINDOWS USERS

MS Windows Date & Time Settings To fix your date and time settings, after you close Firefox completely…
(1) Double-click on the clock on the icon task tray in the bottom right of the screen. The window on the left will pop up.
(2) Adjust to match the current date and time, and click the OK button.
(3) After the date and time window is closed, launch Firefox and try opening one of the websites you visit regularly.
(4) If all goes accordingly, no more “Untrusted” message!
FOR MAC OS X USERS

Mac OS X Date & Time Preferences To fix your date and time preferences, after you quit Firefox…
(1) Click on the clock in top right of the screen and select Date & Time Preferences from the drop-down menu. The window on the left will pop up.
(2) Adjust the date and time to match the current date and time, then close the window.
(3) Launch Firefox and try opening one of the websites you visit regularly.
(4) If all goes accordingly, no more “Untrusted” message!

JUST A REMINDER: I cannot stress the importance of exercising caution and good judgment when browsing around on the Web! If you’re using a Windows-based system, hopefully you are aware of the signs of malware! According to the Journal of Information Systems Applied Research, one university’s technology support center found a total of 16,447 instances of malware on only 32 computers that were all brought in on the same day! Findings like that suggest a severe lack of awareness and understanding of the danger that spyware poses if not treated immediately (Hunsinger & Ward, 2010).

If you need any help on anything I’ve covered in this post, please feel free to ask!

REFERENCES
Public key certificate. (2011). In Wikipedia. Retrieved 13 June 2011, from https://secure.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/wiki/Public_key_certificate

Hunsinger, D., & Ward, M. (2010). Spyware: What influences college students to use anti-spyware tool? Journal of Information Systems Applied Research, 3(4), 7. Retrieved from http://jisar.org/3/4.

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2 responses

  1. Dale

    I know all of my sites are legit and I am still getting this error every time , my date and time settings are correct. What else can I do?

    August 10, 2012 at 2:00 am

  2. same here. I have to come here through internet explorer. My time and date are correct, I just restored the computer a few hours ago, so I don’t know what could be wrong. Its doing it to every single page I go to through firefox. facebook walmart google so what is the problem?

    August 30, 2012 at 12:52 am

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