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SSL Error – Certificate Not Trusted

When you access a website through a secure connection, it is a common issue to get a warning (SSL error) that the certificate is not issued by a trusted authority.

The exact warning message you will get depending on your browser is:

  • Firefox 3 - "The certificate is not trusted because the issuer certificate is unknown. (Error code: sec_error_unknown_issuer)"
  • Internet Explorer 7 - "The security certificate presented by this website was not issued by a trusted certificate authority."
  • Google Chrome - "The site's security certificate is not trusted!"
  • Safari - "Authentication failed because the server certificate is not trusted."

If you get one of the above warnings, this means that your browser does not trust the SSL certificate because it is not signed by a company that the browser recognizes as trusted.

The two most common reasons for this warning are:

* The website is using a self-signed/free SSL certificate.
* The website is using a private SSL certificate but it is missing a CA (Certificate Authority) certificate.

The solution in the first case is to purchase a private SSL certificate which is issued for the specific domain by a trusted authority.

The solution in the second case is to have the SSL certificate reinstalled with the correct CA bundle. The CA bundle is provided by the SSL vendor and should be included in the private SSL package.

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