University Libraries

Library Databases and Browser Security Errors


Clicking the link to access a library database, or clicking on a link within the database, sometimes prompts the browser to return a security certificate mismatch error message.

(example from Firefox version 3.0.6)

(example from Internet Explorer 7)

These errors are caused by the library's proxy server, the tool that allows off-campus users to log in to the library's databases. Even for on-campus users, the proxy server "rewrites" the database's url, which creates a mismatch between the domain name on its security certificate (which is the database's domain name) and what the browser interprets as the domain name in the rewritten URL (which is the proxy server's domain name).

In Firefox, you will have to add an exception to access the database.

  1. Click on "add an exception." 
  2. At the next screen, click the "add exception" button.
  3. Next, click the "get certificate" button.
  4. Finally, choose "confirm security exception."

In Internet Explorer, click "continue to this website (not recommended)" and you will be able to access the database.

Once you add an exception in Firefox or continue past the error screen in Internet Explorer, your computer's browser will store your preference and not show this error message again.

Documentation from Innovative Interfaces (the company that supplies the library's proxy server software) states: "This is the expected behavior of the product, and there is no software solution to this issue."  

Questions or Comments? Contact Amy Fry, Electronic Resources Coordinator