What Does “There is a problem with this website’s security certificate” Mean, and What Should I Do?

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I have a laptop that consistently has a problem when it accesses a site online. Each and every time I get the same message from the site I am visiting. The message is strange and I have no knowledge of how to correct the implied problem.

The message is: “There is a problem with this website’s security certificate. The security certificate presented by this website has expired or is not yet valid.”

This message appears when I try to access my email account.

The problem is most likely not yours to correct. More often than not, it’s a problem with the website itself.

You still need to be careful, though.

Let’s look at security certificates on https connections: what they mean and what you should do when faced with messages such as this.

Read moreWhat Does “There is a problem with this website’s security certificate” Mean, and What Should I Do?

How Do I Copy a Copy-protected Webpage?

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How do I copy/paste from sites that don’t permit it? There is info I’d like to send to a friend without a computer but has a machine that only sends/receives plain text. I want to send her stuff from this site as an example but they don’t permit copying/pasting. Is there anyway around that?

As you might expect, the website in question is trying to protect its content from theft. They have valuable information and I’m sure that people try to steal and republish their content frequently. That is, of course, quite illegal and a violation of international copyright law.

So I’ll assume that’s NOT what you have in mind. (Though technically even what you have in mind – while morally acceptable in my opinion – may still be in violation of that law.)

Copy protection on websites – be it just for pictures or for entire pages of content – is in my opinion pretty close to useless. It keeps honest people honest and that’s about as far as it goes.

Web pages, emails, whatever: if it can be seen, it can be copied.

Read moreHow Do I Copy a Copy-protected Webpage?

How can I automate an SFTP transfer between two servers?

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I’m trying to set up an automated sftp transfer from one Linux box to another. I understand that you have to create a key with ssh-keygen, then put the key file on the other machine. But sftp still prompts me for the password. I read that the users on both machines must be the same… is that correct?

No, not correct.

As it turns out, this is something I do regularly with ssh, as well as both sftp and rsync, as part of my backup and load balancing approaches for Ask Leo! Let me walk you through what I’ve done.

Read moreHow can I automate an SFTP transfer between two servers?

I can’t access some websites … why?

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I can visit a lot of web sites on the internet without a problem. But a few simply don’t work. The strange thing is that they work for other people, or from other machines. What’s going on?

I touched on several possibilities for this in a previous article: Why can I not access certain web sites?. I’d certainly recommend that as a starting point.

However, since that article was written, an additional reason for some web sites not being accessible has surfaced that’s worth looking into in a little more detail.

It’s very obscure, but the good news is that it might also resolve some other problems, most commonly problems with instant messaging.

Read moreI can’t access some websites … why?