Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox are the world’s leading web browsers. According to StatCounter, Google Chrome leads the market share with more than 44.35% users. Mozilla is also on close heels with Apple’s Safari browser taking the second position.
Despite their popularity and legendary reliability, these browsers are also infamous for running into errors, especially SSL connection errors.
What are these errors and why do they happen? This is what we are going to describe in what is to follow.
But, before that, for the less initiated, here is a quick background information about SSL certificates and why they are so integral to the Internet.
About SSL Certificates
SSL stands for Secure Sockets Layer. It is a form of encryption that encrypts data before sending it from one part of the Internet to the other side where it would be decrypted. Encryption prevents information stealing, data interception, and similar cyber security instances.
However, configuring SSL certificates in a website’s server is not easily done. There are many technical intricacies involved which make the process above the head of the novice and amateur users. As a result, plenty of SSL connection errors are bound to creep in.
What causes SSL connection errors?
A handful of reasons like the ones listed below cause SSL connection errors:
- The computer’s system date and time settings are incorrect
- The actual domain and as issued in the SSL certificate mismatch
- The SSL certificate is not from a reputed vendor and hence is not trustworthy
- The antivirus software could be blocking the SSL certificate
- The firewall might have developed an incompatibility with the SSL certificate
- The browser is outdated or the cookie files need to be cleared
Above mentioned are the common reasons why SSL connection errors occur. Now let’s dive into how to rectify these errors and make the connection work finely.
1. Correct The System Date And Time
The system date and time is the most overlooked reason why your SSL certificate might develop a connection error. Sometimes due to a wrong choice made while configuring the system or because of some internal issue, the system date and time will get advanced or delayed in hours, weeks or even months! If it was a system issue, you can easily rectify it by changing the settings in Control Panel.
If the time keeps fluctuating on its own, it signals the need to replace your CMOS (Complementary Metal Oxide Semiconductor) battery. It is a coin shaped battery which is responsible for maintaining the correct date and time settings of your computer. Fix it, change the date and time settings and the connection errors should cease.
2. Name Mismatch Error
Below is the screenshot that is often encountered when there is a name mismatch between the actual domain name and the name in which the SSL certificate is issued.
To rectify this issue, cross-check the domain name with the SSL certificate records. If there are any discrepancies, approach the Certificate Authority who issued to certificate to modify the certificate. This might require you to submit some paperwork to prove your domain name and ownership. Once it is completed, configure the certificate, clear your cookies and load the page for the change to take effect.
3. The antivirus software could be blocking the SSL certificate
SSL certificates perform encryption techniques which might conflict your antivirus software. To prevent your antivirus from blocking the SSL certificate, change the antivirus settings to prevent it from blocking the SSL certificate.
It can be done by following the path: “Set up” → “Advance setting” → “Protocol filtering” → “SSL” → “Do not scan SSL protocol”.
This should settle the problem permanently.
4. Firewall or browser issues
SSL certificates bridge a connection between the user browser and the web server. So, when something is not right in the browser settings or on the firewall front, connection errors tend to crop up.
To begin with, clear all the cookies and cache. Restart the browser and see if the problem still persists. If it does, then try uninstalling and reinstalling the browser. If it still doesn’t work, go to Browser Settings -> Change Proxy and under Security & Privacy Tab set the security level for the zone to medium. Now clear cookies, if any and restart the browser.
Bonus: How to know if the problem is at your end?
If you get the connection error when visiting popular banking websites or common websites like Google, Facebook, Twitter, etc. then it means that the problem is at your end. The cause could be anything that we have listed above.
Depending on the error message, you can proceed to fix the issue and get your system back to working mode. If the problem remains unresolved, you can always approach the Certificate Authority’s helpline to offer your technical support.