Certificate of security

Secure Website Certificates

What does "Website Certified by an Unknown Authority" mean?

If you click on a link and the new window opens with this:

That's ok!  Just click one of the two "Accept this certificate" options and then click the OK button.  There's no problem - this is a US government website, and it is safe!

What is a Website Certificate?

A "Web site certificate" states that a specific Web site is secure and genuine. It protects against other Web sites assuming the identity of the original secure site. A secure encrypted connection (i.e.. https:// instead of http://) between the your computer and the web site protects against hackers interfering.

You can easily see if you are using a secure connection, as in the address bar there will https:// (with the 's' meaning secure) and your browser will display an icon of a padlock. Newer browsers will also change the background color of the address bar to a pale yellow.

If you want to learn more about site certificates, then start with clicking on the "examine certificate" button, and read about what the certificate contains.

This page has a very good explanation of the uses of a website certificate and a secure connection.

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