Internet browsing has evolved over time with security improvements. HTTP was used in the beginning, but currently, it is considered insecure because you are exposed to Man in the Middle attacks. Nowadays, this type of website should be mistrusted, especially if it is an online business in which transactions have to be made. Fortunately, things have changed and HTTPS is now used, which includes security protocols for data encryption, connection authenticity, and data integrity. The problem is that sometimes, when we try to enter a website that we know is safe, it prevents us from entering. In this tutorial we are going to learn how to solve the failed secure connection error in Firefox that prevents us from browsing normally through the different websites that use HTTPS.
The first thing we are going to see are the causes for which we find the failed secure connection error in Firefox. Then we will explain different solutions that we can apply to solve this problem. On many occasions, as we will see below, they have to do with certificates, the browser and more, although it can also be due to errors with the date and time.
Why the error occurs
Currently more and more servers, websites and different services use secure protocols. For example, finding HTTP instead of HTTPS is getting weirder. In some circumstances these security measures may fail, either because we are facing a failure in the server, in the domain, in the certificates themselves, in the Internet browser and more.
The way the browser works is usually to automatically block these connections to protect Internet users. This causes them to end up having serious difficulties to be able to connect to the Internet normally. The purpose of the browser, in this case Firefox, is to ensure that if a connection says it is secure, it really is. For this reason, in the event that Firefox detects a security anomaly, the secure connection failed error will appear.
As for the summary of the error, it will show us two possible causes:
- One that the website cannot be viewed because the authenticity of the received data cannot be verified.
- Another that we inform the owners of the website about the problem in case it is related to them and they have to solve the incident.
The first solution that we could try would be to wait a little time and click on the Retry button, in case it is a specific failure of our connection or the server.
All solutions to fix this error
Now that we know the causes, we are going to explain a series of solutions to fix this error. Because this error can occur for many reasons, we have to go step by step checking that all the solutions are correctly applied in our operating system.
The date and time problem
The Firefox browser uses certificates on secure websites to ensure that information is sent to the right person and not intercepted. If our computer does not have the date and time well established, it can cause Firefox to detect that the certificate is no longer valid and show us the error of failed secure connection. Thus, therefore, we must make sure that the date and time of our equipment are correctly configured.
If we want to solve it in Windows 10, in the taskbar, we right-click on the date and time and select ” Set date and time “.
Then we will configure it manually or automatically according to our interests.
Normally these types of failures do not occur unless we have changed it ourselves, or we have problems because the battery on the motherboard does not keep the date and time accurately. This is a temporary solution to the problem until we change the battery, it can be to leave it on automatic as shown above.
Disable OCSP Stapling
The failed secure connection error problem can affect any website. One of those that has suffered it on occasion is Microsoft. The cause of the failure may be OCSP stapling which is also known as the TLS Certificate Status Request extension. In case you don’t know, it is an alternative to the OSCP to check the renewal and status of X.509 digital certificates.
Therefore, if we encounter errors of this type in Firefox, and the website is completely trustworthy, we could disable the OCSP Stapling check in the browser. If we want to deactivate this security measure, we will start by accessing the advanced configuration section of Firefox. To do this we will follow the following steps:
- In the address bar of the browser we type ” about: config ” and press enter.
- Using the filter that appears in the upper part of the window, we will look for the option ” security.ssl.enable_ocsp_stapling ” by typing it and pressing enter.
Once found, we double click on this option, or click on the toggle button indicated by the green arrow to change its value from « True » to « false « , as shown in this screenshot.
The next step we would have to do is reload that website and then we would see how it opens normally without showing the failed secure connection error.
One relevant thing to keep in mind is that having deactivated this security measure leaves us exposed to a website that could put our security at risk. Another circumstance that can happen is that some websites that force OCSP Stapling may not work properly. Once used, it should be left with the default value “True” to avoid security problems or additional navigation problems.
In summary, it is recommended that this setting be only temporary. We will do it to be able to connect to a website that returns the error of failed secure connection until those responsible for the website fix the certificate problem they have.
Issues with the supported TLS version
The secure connection failed error may be due to the website using an outdated version of the TLS certificate. The moment you try to establish an HTTPS connection, that site requests the use of an old and insecure version of the TLS protocol. If we find ourselves in this situation, we must contact the web administrator and request that they update the TLS version.
Another option is that a new version of TLS has been released and is not correctly adjusted, or that someone has changed it. The way to check is to go into the advanced settings of Firefox in the same way that we learned before. Next, using the filter that appears in the upper part of the window, we will look for the option ” security.tls.version.max ” and pressing enter. Then we will see a screen like this:
Currently, the corresponding value is 4. If, for example, we had a lower number like 3, we would get a failed secure connection error because it would not let us use that higher version of TLS.
To get an idea of the TLS version that corresponds to each number, you have these data:
- 0 – SSL 3.0 —-> obsolete and insecure.
- 1 – TLS 1.0 —-> obsolete and insecure.
- 2 – TLS 1.1 —-> obsolete and not very secure.
- 3 – TLS 1.2
- 4 – TSL 1.3
In the future, it will surely be necessary to increase the number when new versions of TLS are released.
Once we have reviewed all these aspects, you should be able to browse the Internet without any problem, having fixed the error of secure connection failed in Firefox.