What Is a Certificate Error?

By Vera Lam

While surfing the net, the Web surfer may encounter an Internet security feature called a certificate error. A certificate error is a pop-up window that appears when there is something wrong with the website's certificate itself or its intended uses for the website you are visiting.


Certificate errors occur for reasons such as certificate expiration, a mismatch of the website and certificate addresses, an untrusted website and the illicit use of a fake certificate administered by a phishing website. According to Microsoft Windows, if the message "This website's security certificate has been revoked" appears, a website should not be trusted because the certificate may have been unlawfully used by the website.


A valid website demonstrates that your connection is safe and secure. Web certificates check a website's validity, minimizing the possibility of downloading harmful materials like spyware, malware and viruses. Without this security, Web surfers are more susceptible to unwarranted intrusions from unknown parties.


The website for which the certificate appears should not be visited again. However, you may choose to ignore the certificate error and proceed onto the website at your own risk, which will only redirect the error to your computer's security status bar. You cannot turn off certificate checking on your computer.