Loading the Williams CA Certificate

Downloading the Williams certificate authority will let you visit secure Williams websites without getting security warnings from your browser.

Why should I download the certificate?

Many Williams College web sites have purchased certificates from major commercial certificate authorities, such as Geotrust, that let you use the sites without getting a warning message. However it costs several hundred dollars a year for the site to buy a commercial certificate.

Using a Williams College signed certificate is a free alternative. However, it’s slightly less convenient for users, because the users must load the Williams College CA certificate.

NOTE: You only need to load the Williams College CA certificate once per browser. That will handle any site at Williams College that uses the Williams College CA to sign their certificate. This certificate lasts for 25 years, so you should never have to load it again.

So what’s so bad about getting warning messages?

The point of digital certificates is to assure you that you are on a legitimate site. By ignoring the warning messages, you may not realize that you are not actually on the site you think you are. Williams College Networks and Systems urges all users to not ignore these security warnings.

How-to Guide

IE | Firefox | Safari

Internet Explorer

Click on the link below and a dialog will be started to allow you to install this Trusted Certificate into your browser: Williams College Networks and Systems CA Certificate

Click Open and the following window will be displayed:

Click Install Certificate which will now display the following window:

Click Next to start the Certificate Import Wizard and the following screen will appear:

Select the “Place all certifictes in the following store” radio button and then click Browse. The following window will appear.

Select “Trusted Root Certification Authorities” and then click OK, and following window will be display:

Click Next, the following window will appear:

Click Finish to complete the certification installation, although there will be more to click on the following window:

The above Security Warning, is just telling from now on any certificates signed by this Trusted Root Cert, will be trusted, exactly what we want to do, so click Yes, and the following window will appear:

Click OK, and this will return you to the first window we started at:

Click OK and you will be back in your browser and the Certificate is installed.

Check to see if it worked

Firefox

In order to install the Trusted Certificate in firefox, you need to first download the Certificate file to your local workstation, so right-mouse click on the link below and following the screenshots to complete the installation.

Williams College Networks and Systems CA Certificate

When you right-mouse, click on the above link, choose Save Link as, and the following window should appear:

You can save the file anywhere you want, just remember where it saves it to, as you will need to reference this when you import in a later step. Saving to your desktop is a good place as any.

Now you will need to import the saved certificate file. Select Tools from the Menu bar, and then Options. This will display the following window:

Select the Advanced Icon, and then Click the Encryption Tab, and then the View Certificates button, this will bring up the following window:

Click the import button, and this will bring the following dialog box:

Locate the file you save earlier, if it was on your desktop it should be easy to find, select the file and click open (or double click the file), and the following window will display:

Select the three check boxes, and click OK. This will return you to the following window:

Scroll down to verify that there is a certificate for Williams College and williams.edu as show in the above.

Check to see if it worked

Safari (Macintosh)

Hold down the ctrl-key and click the following link, and choose Save Linked file as:

Williams College Networks and Systems CA Certificate

Select the desktop as where you want to save the file and then edit the file name, removing the .txt file extension, click Save.

The following window will appear:

Click Don’t append so that it will not append the .txt file back on to the file.

Now find the file that you just saved on your desktop, and double click it, this will display the following window:

Change the keychain from login to System

and click ok. The following window will now display:

You will need to authenticate with a local administrator account, and then click ok.

The following window will now display:

Click “Always Trust” and the following window will now display:

You will need to authenticate with a local administrator account, and then click ok. The following window will not appear:

Click on System in the list of keychains, you should see a certificate for williams.edu.

Now exit the Keychainaccess program:

Check to see if it worked

Did it work?

Click on this link: Webmail. If you get an error like any of the pictures below, something went wrong. Try to follow the instructions again, just in case you missed something. Close all browser windows and then restart the browser.

bad

IE error

bad

Firefox error

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Safari error

If it’s still not working, call the Help Desk:

  • Students 413-597-3088
  • Faculty & Staff 413-597-4090