You may have seen a warning similar to what is shown above when trying to log in to cPanel or WHM on your VPS or dedicated server. It is important to understand exactly what this warning means, what you should do when you see this, and actions you can take to get around this. We will cover what you should do when you see this warning when connecting to your GreenGeeks VPS or dedicated server.
What is a Self-Signed SSL Certificate?
A self-signed SSL works the same as a normal SSL certificate, with one major difference. Normal SSL certificates are issued by a third party certificate authority. These certificates are verified by a third party to confirm your server is who it says it is. This will allow visitors to your server or website to successfully connect via an encrypted connection.
A self-signed certificate on the other hand is not verified by a third party. Instead, your server issues its own SSL certificate so that it may serve encrypted HTTPS access to visitors. There is no third party to verify whether or not you are connecting to a trusted server. This causes modern web browsers to show a warning, or SSL connection error when visiting these websites. SSL certificates not verified by a third party certificate authority are not trusted by your browser by default. This prevents websites from serving encrypted connections using certificates from another domain to trick users in to submitting personal information.
I got this warning! What do I do?
When connecting to your GreenGeeks VPS or dedicated server, you may safely bypass this warning. This will allow you to connect to your service still utilizing an encrypted HTTPS connection. The steps for bypassing the warning will vary based on what browser you are using and will be shown to you when you see this warning.
For Google Chrome, you will need to click the “Advanced” link at the bottom, then click “Proceed to…. (unsafe)”. In Firefox, you will be prompted to manually add the certificate to your local browser’s set of trusted certificates.
Once complete, you will be able to fully connect to your service as normal. If you are connecting over FTP/SFTP, IMAP, POP3, SMTP, etc, your FTP or email program will prompt you with the steps to accept the warning and proceed.
How do I fix the warning?
This will require you to set up a verified SSL certificate for your server hostname. GreenGeeks offers SSL certificates as service addons, and we can handle the entire installation process for you. You may also opt to use your own SSL provider. Please click here for more information regarding how to set up a SSL certificate.
When ordering your SSL certificate, your server hostname will need to be used as the domain. Just mention “server hostname SSL” when contacting our sales team and we’ll guide you from there!