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Q: How can I turn off the "security alert" dialog boxes that appear when I access a secure Web site using Internet Explorer?

Answer

There are a few security alert dialog boxes in Internet Explorer, covering different situations. Here's how to eliminate them:

  • Ensure that you have installed the MIT Certification Authority (CA) certificate for IE. This will get rid of the alert dialog box saying that the 'The security certificate was issued by a company you have not chosen to trust.' Instructions for installing the CA are provided at http://ist.mit.edu/services/certificates.
  • Let IE remember your personal certificate password. When you install your personal certificate for IE, MIT recommends that you set its security level to "High." This requires you to set up a password for the certificate. Once the password is set, you are prompted to enter it each time you access a secure Web site at MIT. You can change this so that IE will only prompt you once per session, if you select the "remember password" checkbox the first time you are prompted. IE will not ask for the password again until you Exit and re-open the browser.
    If you choose to not use a password to use protect your personal certificate, be sure to never leave your machine unattended. Either logout or lock the screen, otherwise someone will be able to impersonate you by using your certificate. For Window 9x/Me machines there is no safe way to lock the system, so you really need to use a password to protect your certificate.
  • If you have only one certificate installed on your PC, tell Internet Explorer not to prompt you for which certificate to use when accessing a certificate protected Web site. To do this, follow these steps:
  1. From IE's Tools menu, choose Internet Options.
  2. Click the Security tab.
  3. Click the Custom Level button.
  4. Locate the setting Don't prompt for client certificate selection when no certificates or only one certificate exists, and click the Enable radio button.

IS&T Contributions

Documentation and information provided by IS&T staff members


Last Modified:

January 22, 2012

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