How do I configure OS X to use my self-signed SSL certificate?

Learn to configure OS X to use your self-signed SSL certificate with Entourage, Safari and Firefox.

Entourage and Safari users

  1. Launch the web browser Safari.
  2. Type in the fully-qualified domain name you use to access webmail and add /server.cer to the end of the URL. For example:
  3. Click on the "Continue" button and a file named server.cacert.cer should be automatically downloaded to your desktop.
  4. Locate the server.cacert.cer file on the desktop and double-click on it. The Keychain Access application should automatically launch.
  5. In the Add Certificates pop-up window, set Keychain: to Login and click OK.
  6. Double-click on the file named server.cacert.cer again.
  7. This time set Keychain: to X509Anchors and click OK

You should now be able to access secure webmail using Safari or use the secure ports in Entourage without being warned that your certificate is untrusted or cannot be verified.

Firefox users should select the option "Accept this certificate permanently" when Firefox provides a pop-up warning that the certificate cannot be verified.

No additional steps should be necessary.

Why is using SSL important?

To encrypt your data for privacy. SSL makes data appear as random gibberish during transfer so a network spy cannot read it.

SSL can fix strange Entourage synchronization problems. Often times, Entourage working over DAV (port 80) can have many different kinds of synchronization problems which appear as folders that will not sync to the server or incorrectly deleted emails, contacts, or calendar events. Many firewalls do packet inspection and can interfere with DAV synchronization. If, however, the packets are encrypted, packet inspection can not interfere. For this reason, SSL can actually fix strange problems in Entourage. Even if you do not have a firewall, it is possible some packet inspection is occurring at remote locations so laptop users can benfit from using SSL.

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