Prevent “security certificate” error messages

When I try to access databases or other resources, especially from off campus, I get an “Untrusted Connection” or “There is a problem with this website’s security certificate” error message. How do I keep these messages from appearing?

In this situation, the most common cause of these messages is an encryption setting in your browser that is preventing it from requesting the correct security certificate for initiating a secure connection to our proxy server. Your browser isn’t preventing you from getting to the destination website, merely alerting you to what it interprets as a possible security risk. To prevent the error messages from appearing, follow the steps below, depending upon your browser:

Internet Explorer 7 and higher –  Windows Vista and higher

  1. Go to Tools > Internet Options > Advanced tab
  2. Scroll to the bottom of the list of Settings and make sure the “Use SSL 3.0” and “Use TLS 1.0” checkboxes are checked (see screenshot).
  3. Click OK and try accessing the resource again.


  1. Go to Firefox > Options > Options and select the Advanced icon.
  2. Select the Encryption tab and make sure both boxes in the Protocols section are checked (see screenshot).
  3. Click OK and try accessing the resource again.

If you haven’t already, you should also consider upgrading to the latest version of your browser. Encryption solutions like the above are often included in the default configuration of browser updates.

If the above steps don’t prevent the security certificate error from appearing, contact the library using any of the methods listed on the Ask a Librarian page.