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Tips To Help You Login To Secure https Sites in MS IE 7 and Firefox 3.0.5 Browsers

Hi!

So, it’s my first technical post of year 2009 and a basic one but would still probably help some of my friends who are facing problems in logging to the secure, encrypted sites starting with https://

Why I decided to write this post is that I too faced the same problem when I tried logging to my bank site at http://abnamro.co.in/India/index.htm, I was able to see the front page -with http. But, when I clicked on NetBanking option, it
opened a new browser window in Microsoft IE 7 with URL: https://netbanking.abnamro.co.in/BANKAWAY?Action.RetUser.Init.001=Y&AppSignonBankId=ABN&AppType=corporate followed by some lines of error message below the URL that is shown next.

Cannot display the webpage error for https secure encrypted banking site in MS IE7 Tips To Help You Login To Secure https Sites in MS IE 7 and Firefox 3.0.5 Browsers

I was somewhat surprised because I had logged in to the same site a day before without any errors from the same PC of mine. But anyway, I decided to check this problem out and write it on pctipstricks.com so that it help others in troubleshooting it quickly.

To solve this problem of not able to login to the https – secure, encrypted site, I did the following steps:

1. Diagnosed Connection Problems

As shown above, the Microsoft IE 7 error page itself advised me to check for the Internet connectivity first. I checked this by doing some google search at http://www.google.co.in and surfing http://www.pctipstricks.com and found no issues.

I also clicked on the “Diagnose Connection Problems” of the Microsoft Internet Explorer 7 to just check what it diagnoses.

No connectivity issues report from Diagnose Connection Problems tool in MS IE7 Tips To Help You Login To Secure https Sites in MS IE 7 and Firefox 3.0.5 Browsers

The tool worked fine and displayed what I had expected it to show – “No problem with this computer’s network or Internet connection”. The same Windows Network Diagnostics message is shown above. I clicked on Close to make it disappear.

What logically the above Microsoft diagnostic tool may be doing would be to ping the Internet site internally (without showing in the background) that can manually be done by the command:


ping www.microsoft.com or any other Internet URL of the main site

If it gets response, then the Internet connectivity is displayed as fine otherwise an error will be displayed.

Now if you get an error message that there is a problem with your Internet network connection and you are also not able to surf any sites (non https), then you must check your Internet connection. Otherwise, proceed to the second step to check why you are not able to open https sites as I did.

2. Clicking on “More Information” of the error window titled “Internet Explorer cannot display the webpage” – the first screenshot of this post to diagnose other issues

I now clicked on “More Information” of the above screenshot to see what issues MS IE 7 diagnoses for me not able to login to https site.

Details of enabling SSL and TLS protocols when https sites are not opening MS IE7 Tips To Help You Login To Secure https Sites in MS IE 7 and Firefox 3.0.5 Browsers

Oh! Great! The “More Information” really gave me the clue to check SSL (Secure Socket Layer) and TLS (Transport Layer Security – advanced version of SSL) – both important protocols (rules of communication) used by banking sites for highly strong encryption and decryption of confidential data. Since, I was able to surf other non https sites, there was no problem with DNS etc., Also the front page of the banking site was getting opened (non https) and being a banking site, there was supposed to be a message regarding downtime (as it was there always earlier) which was also not displayed, hence I ruled that there is problem with the banking website of ABN AMRO India.

Now, I was sure that one of my relative had used my computer yesterday evening and by mistake, he might have disabled the SSL and TLS settings in my MS IE7 browser.

To check the SSL and TLS settings in Microsoft IE 7 browser, I went to the Tools (clicked) and then reached Internet Options (clicked) and got a multi-tab screen titled “Internet Options”. I then clicked on Advanced (as suggested in the above screenshot) tab and scrolled extreme down till bottom to check if SSL and TLS were disabled.

As shown in the next screenshot, I found that the SSL and TLS protocols were unchecked – disabled.

Disabled SSL and TLS settings in MS IE7 browser Tips To Help You Login To Secure https Sites in MS IE 7 and Firefox 3.0.5 Browsers

3. Enabling SSL and TLS protocol settings in MS IE 7

It was now obvious that the Microsoft Internet Explorer 7 browser at my end was not sending SSL and TLS protocol encrypted data to the banking site having server that required https – secured encrypted SSL communication (obvious as the site uses https in its URL).

I enabled SSL and TLS settings as shown in the next screenshot and then clicked on Apply (to commit the changes permanently without restarting the browser) and then on OK (to close the Internet Options dialog window). I also closed the “More Information” window (the third screenshot window) since I had now enabled SSL and TLS protocols by seeing the way to do so in MS IE 7.

Enabling SSL and TLS settings in IE7 browser Tips To Help You Login To Secure https Sites in MS IE 7 and Firefox 3.0.5 Browsers

Now, I checked if I was able to login to my banking site and yes, I saw the login screen that was not appearing earlier with url: https://netbanking.abnamro.co.in/BANKAWAY?Action.RetUser1.Init.001=Y&AppSignonBankId=ABN&AppType=corporate&enablekey=true. I entered the login details and clicked on Login and as expected I was able to login.

The banking site login screen starting with https that was earlier not appearing and instead an error – IE cannot display the webpage… as SSL and TLS were not enabled in MS IE 7 is shown next.

Banking login page with https appearing after enabling SSL and TLS in MS IE7 Tips To Help You Login To Secure https Sites in MS IE 7 and Firefox 3.0.5 Browsers

If you have other browsers and not MS IE 7 and you are facing login issue with https sites, then after checking your Internet connectivity you should check if the SSL and TLS protocols are enabled. The way of finding whether the SSL and TLS setttings in Mozilla Firefox 3.0.5 is:


- Click on Tools and then on Options… or Press Alt T,O (not zero)

- Click on Advanced (the last icon on right) and then on Encryption

- Under Protocols, make sure that Use SSL3.0 and use TLS1.0 boxes are checked

- Click on OK to close the Options dialog box

The following screenshot shows the SSL 3.0 and TLS 1.0 protocols enabled under Advanced – Encryption settings of the Firefox 3.0.5 version.

Checking SSL TLS protocols settings enabled in Firefox 3.0.5 Tips To Help You Login To Secure https Sites in MS IE 7 and Firefox 3.0.5 Browsers

Note: Most of the confidential – banking, payment processor and shopping etc. sites should work with enabling of SSL only and won’t require TLS. Enable only SSL first and check if you are able to login.  If not, then check TLS only (TLS is new than SSL), uncheck SSL. BTW – There is no harm in enabling both the protocols. You can also check the “Requirements” listed for the client browser at the site in question or check their FAQ or contact their Customer Support if you are not able to login.

I hope again that these tips would help some of friends to sort out the similar login issue with https sites that require enabling SSL and TLS protocols at user’s/client’s Internet browser.

Did these tips help you in logging to the secure – https address sites? Let me know.

Take care,

Rajesh Mago

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Tags: enabling SSL and TLS in MS IE 7, enabling TLS in Firefox, how to enable SSL in Firefox 3.0.5, solving login issues with https sites, troubleshooting when having problems logging to https s

This entry was posted on Wednesday, January 7th, 2009 at 8:52 am and is filed under Application SW, Internet, Internet Browser, Security, Troubleshooting. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

2 Responses to “Tips To Help You Login To Secure https Sites in MS IE 7 and Firefox 3.0.5 Browsers”

John January 8th, 2009 at 1:23 pm

Your posts shows that you are very hard working. This post helped me in saving my time. The steps were detailed and clear. Keep it up!

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