How secure is secure?

Granny Sue

Active Member
Please see the screenshot below. I know Linux is super secure, but when Firefox gives me this message, can I just go ahead or not? (Ultimately I will because this is a state government website, but I'm curious for future reference.
 

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atanere

Well-Known Member
I get the same error with Firefox, and looking at the Advanced tab on the warning, it is telling you that it doesn't recognize the issuer of the Security Certificate. The "https" part of the web address means your connection to this site should be encrypted and safe, but Firefox can't be sure because of the fault with that Certificate. The risk to you here is that information being sent between you and this website might be visible to bad people trying to intercept that traffic. If you are exchanging any sensitive information (Social Security Number, etc)... you definitely want to think about this before continuing. If you ever see this warning when connecting to your bank... again, stop and think.

Is this problem with Firefox, or with the state website? It's hard to be sure, but I'm glad you were attentive to this warning. Don't ever dismiss something like this out of hand... it is trying to protect you. And I agree with you that your state government should be safe. But every business, state and federal governments, and anyone else can have an issue with their security... a hiccup, a misconfigured server, a Certificate that expires and was not renewed promptly. Stuff happens (or something like that).

So, what about options? I run 3 different web browsers fairly regularly. Firefox (my favorite), plus Chromium (the open source basis for the Google Chrome browser), and one more called Vivaldi. You could install Google Chrome too, if you want that, but personally I try to avoid Google (though I can't seem to totally leave Google either). You can install Chromium from the Synaptic Package Manager by searching for "chromium-browser" or from the terminal with sudo apt install chromium-browser. Vivaldi is also available in Synaptic Package Manager (search for vivaldi-stable) or you can download the .deb file from their website.

You don't have to install these other browsers... just something to consider. It might be a good time to learn how to install software from the Synaptic Package Manager.

But where I'm headed with all this (I know, c'mon Stan, shut up already!).... is that Vivaldi and Chromium will both load your state government website without the Certificate error you see with Firefox. So these two browsers trust the Certificate Issuer, where Firefox does not. Who knows best? I don't know myself, but in a case like this, I would rather use a browser that is telling me that the https encryption is safe.
 

Vrai

Active Member
Please see the screenshot below. I know Linux is super secure, but when Firefox gives me this message, can I just go ahead or not? (Ultimately I will because this is a state government website, but I'm curious for future reference.
That really has nothing to do with Linux security and everything to do with the security certificate of the site you are trying to connect to.
Firefox is telling you (with it's big scary warning) it does not recognize the the certificate or the certificate is mis-configured in some way. It could be a 'self-signed' certificate which is problematic for Firefox.
I recommend you contact the IT Guru at that site and ask them about it.
Odd - I just connected to the site with Firefox and did not get the warning. Is it working now for you?
 

atanere

Well-Known Member
Now that's really weird! I am running Linux Mint 19.2 and Firefox 66.0.2.
The only other thing which may be different and complicating matters is I am using a VPN.
Your Firefox is out of date... now at version 70. (Unless ESR version, maybe. I don't know about that.)

There is a Firefox 70.0.1 that is out now, but it hasn't made it to the Mint Update Manager yet. Oops, sorry for mixup... I've switched to Peppermint OS and it doesn't have 70.0.1 --- but Linux Mint does have it.
 
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Vrai

Active Member
Your Firefox is out of date... now at version 70. (Unless ESR version, maybe. I don't know about that.)

There is a Firefox 70.0.1 that is out now, but it hasn't made it to the Mint Update Manager yet.
Yeah, I know. That used to be one of the things which bugged me about running Linux. Out of date software. I used to install the latest Firefox myself but now I just roll with whatever version is in the Mint repos. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Edit: I just checked. There is a newer version in the Update Manager - 70.0.1. I suppose I should run some updates! :)
 

Condobloke

Well-Known Member
I connected from south east asia via linux mint 18.3 running Firefox 70.0.1

No warnings...no hiccups
 

wizardfromoz

Super Moderator
Staff member
Gold Supporter
Ditto from Australia



I used, first Firefox ESR v60 from Debian Stretch distro, then swung over to Tina Cinnamon, which is more closely related to Granny's environment. In Tina I have the up-to-date v70 of regular Firefox.

Wiz
 

Granny Sue

Active Member
Well, you guys are ALL wizards! I got really busy today and never made it bck to 'puter. Thanks for all your help and research. @atanere, I'll try installing Vivaldi tomorrow. Maybe even Chromium....
 

atanere

Well-Known Member
Interesting that others reach the website without the warning from Firefox. I get the warning both with Linux Mint MATE 19.2 and with Peppermint 10, Firefox 70.0.1 and 70.0.0 respectively. Hmmm.

@Granny Sue, I quite like Vivaldi... it is different. But don't be afraid to set it up how you like it. You can delete all the advertising it shows on the home screen (though some may return when you update it later), and you can change the color scheme in settings too. Actually, in all your browsers you should go through each section of their settings. There are many tweaks and tools that you might find useful... such as Ad-blockers, etc.
 

70 Tango Charlie

Active Member
Well, you guys are ALL wizards! I got really busy today and never made it bck to 'puter. Thanks for all your help and research. @atanere, I'll try installing Vivaldi tomorrow. Maybe even Chromium....
Hi Granny,
I have been using Vivaldi for about a year and find that it has some nice features that others don't have. I clicked into that website and it popped right up, just like what Oz posted.
TC
 

Granny Sue

Active Member
Isn't that interesting? Makes me wonder why the differences....
Now that's really weird! I am running Linux Mint 19.2 and Firefox 66.0.2.
The only other thing which may be different and complicating matters is I am using a VPN.
Do you really need a VPN with Linux? Isn't that part of Linux' wonderful security?
 

Nik-Ken-Bah

Active Member
Do you really need a VPN with Linux? Isn't that part of Linux' wonderful security?
VPN is a internet protocol not program here is a bit about it.
A VPN is a private network that uses a public network (usually the internet) to connect remote sites or users together. The VPN uses "virtual" connections routed through the internet from the business's private network or a third-party VPN service to the remote site or person.

thus making it more secure than the open internet.
 

Granny Sue

Active Member
VPN is a internet protocol not program here is a bit about it.
A VPN is a private network that uses a public network (usually the internet) to connect remote sites or users together. The VPN uses "virtual" connections routed through the internet from the business's private network or a third-party VPN service to the remote site or person.

thus making it more secure than the open internet.
That makes it more clear, thanks. I'm going to start a new thread. found this thread
 
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