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You may have seen a warning similar to this one when trying to log in to cPanel or WHM on your VPS or dedicated server:

SSL certificate warning

It’s important to understand what the warning means, what you should do when you see it, and actions you can take to avoid it.

What is a self-signed SSL certificate?

Normal SSL certificates are issued by a third party certificate authority. They are verified by a third party to confirm your server is who it says it is, allowing visitors to connect to your server or website via an encrypted connection.

A self-signed certificate, on the other hand, is not verified by a third party. Your server issues its own SSL certificate so that it may serve encrypted HTTPS access to visitors. There is no third party verification of whether you are connecting to a trusted server.

Self-signed certificates cause modern web browsers to display a warning or SSL connection error when visiting websites that use them. The warning is meant to prevent sites from establishing encrypted connections using a certificate from another domain to trick users into submitting personal information.

I am getting this warning, what should I do?

When connecting to your GreenGeeks VPS or dedicated server, you can safely bypass the warning. The steps for bypassing the warning will vary by browser, but they will be shown to you when you the warning is triggered.

In Google Chrome, click the “Advanced” button, then the “Proceed to…. (unsafe)” link.

In Firefox, you will be prompted to manually add the certificate to your local browser’s set of trusted certificates.

If you are connecting via FTP, SFTP, IMAP, POP3, SMTP, etc., your FTP or email program will prompt you with the steps to accept the warning and proceed.

Can I fix it so the warning is not shown?

To stop the warning, you have to set up a verified SSL certificate for your server hostname. GreenGeeks offers SSL certificates as service add-ons, and we can handle the entire installation process for you. You may also opt to use your own SSL provider. Here’s more information on setting up an SSL certificate.

When ordering your SSL certificate, your server hostname will be used as the domain. Just mention “server hostname SSL” when contacting our sales team and we’ll guide you from there.

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