Saturday, March 17, 2012

How do you manage certificates in Firefox?

Originally posted on 04/28/2011 at lubbockonline.com

Yesterday I talked about what website certificates are. Today I'm talking about what you can do to control the certificates in your browser. It's not difficult, but it can take a bit of searching. We'll start with Firefox. If the post is too long Internet Explorer will be tomorrow. Maybe we can hit Safari and Opera after that.

Firefox 4 and Firefox 3 are exactly the same except for the very first step.

Firefox 4

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Firefox 3

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Go to the Firefox menu - options - options. The Options dialog will pop up.

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Click on the 'Advanced' tab, then click on the "View Certificates" button.

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Every browser has over a hundred recognized certificate authorities. It's hard to know which ones you really need and which ones you don't, but if you live in the U.S. it's probably safe to remove the certificate from TurkTrust. It's a Turkish certificate authority, and unless you visit Middle Eastern or Turkish websites, you probably won't encounter many sites using it. Once you've selected the certificate you can click on one of the buttons at the bottom of the window to view the details of the certificate, edit the trust level, export the certificate or delete it.

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You can look through the certificates in your browser and do a little online research to decide which ones you think you can get rid of. If you want you can search online for certificate authorities to add, although there's not much reason for most people to add certificates unless they need to add one to access the internet through a proxy server. That's something you don't usually have to worry about unless your job requires it.