Problems with website security certificate error message usually occur on older computers but are easy to fix when you know what causes them.
Problems With Security Certificates? When trying to log in to a website (e.g. Facebook, Ebay etc) you may receive this error message “There is a problem with this website’s security certificate”. Browsing normal websites works but you will get the error message whenever you try to access a website where you need to login securely to use the site.
The error message will still appear even if you try a different web browser like Chrome – it is not just an Internet Explorer issue.
Solution – It may seem weird but the most likely cause of the error message is that your computer’s date and time are incorrect! Security certificates have a ‘valid from’ and ‘valid to’ date – they are usually only valid for a year or two and then the company running the website has to obtain a new certificate to ensure the site is kept secure.
If your computer’s date is incorrectly set to a few years ago then Windows will think that the security certificate is invalid (as its ‘valid from’ date is in the future!) and therefore display this error message. Correcting the date and time on your computer should resolve the issue (at least temporarily) and enable you to login to websites again:
- Open the date and time settings (right click the clock in the bottom right corner of the screen) and change the date and time to the correct values. Check that you can now log into secure websites.
- After you next turn your computer off and on again, check if the date and time are still correct. If they have reverted back to a few years ago then the problem will reoccur – see the next step for a permanent solution.
Computer Date and Time Keeps Going Wrong – Older computers may keep losing the correct date and time after being switched off (unplugged) – often changing to a date from many years ago. In this case you will start seeing the security certificate error message again.
The reason it keeps losing the date and time is because a small battery inside the computer (which helps store the correct date and time) has died. To fix this problem permanently you need to replace the battery inside your computer – see our article on a computer showing the wrong date and time for a step by step guide to replacing the battery.