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How to Fix Mix Content Warning on HTTPS Website?

If you had migrated your website from HTTP to HTTPS, but then still you are getting warnings in the browser about mixed active content or "your connection to this site is not fully secure" then this article is perfect for your guidence.

The browser display a Mixed content warning when the site is not fully protected or secure all content. When a webpage conatins a mixture of secure (HTTPS) and non-secure (HTTP) content is delivered over SSL to the browser then mixed content error happens. A mixed content error occurs when HTTP assets are loaded on an HTTPS page.

Web page mainly consists of HTML (Hypertext Markup Language)—without which a webpage can’t work—along with CSS and JavaScript, which are not essential, but are much needed to make an excellent site.

Web pages consists of many internal or external references; for example, a YouTube video or a Soundcloud audio clip embedded on a webpage or a call to a JavaScript library.

When these references load on the main HTML page, which has been requested through HTTPS, with an HTTP request, mixed content occurs as HTTPS and HTTP requests are mixed up. Modern browsers will show warnings when mixed content happens. And, in the browser’s address bar, instead of showing a green padlock, a black or red colored padlock with a warning sign will be displayed.

How is Mixed Content Error is Displayed in the Browser

This is how a mined content error on Firefox address bar looks like: The padlock is dark with a warning sign. In Firefox, it will block insecure content on the page, it will remove the padlock and display the icon which indicates that it has a blocked content.

In Chrome, From October 2017 pages with a form will show "Not secure" when entering data on the page. And in differnt version it shows in a different manner.

Firstly, to have a green padlock shown, a site must have a valid SSL certificate along with HTTPS requests. The public trusted third-parties called as Certificate Authorities (aka SSL Certificate Providers) usually issue SSL certificates upon verifying some details regarding the site. DigiCert and Comodo are two renowned SSL certificate providers.

Browsers will recognize these SSL certificates, and if everything is fine, will show a green padlock. It ensures a visitor that his connection is safe and secure.

But if there is mixed content, first of all, the browser will show a warning. That would eventually trigger alarms on the minds of visitors.

And, mixed content can lead to man-in-the-middle-attacks, where a malicious actor would tamper with data: often stealing confidential information and returning wrong HTTP resources to the visitor.

So, a mixed content not only harms the site’s reputation but puts visitors at high risk.

Types of Mixed Content

Mixed content is of two types: Active and Passive

Passive mixed content does not interact with other parts of the page. For example, a video or an image. So, a man-in-the-middle-attack won’t be as useful as changing any of the passive mixed content doesn’t do any damage to the security of the site’s visitor. It, however, causes privacy issues as the attacker can track through these HTTP requests what the visitor is doing.

Active mixed content interacts with other parts of the page: a javascript reference, an iframe, an insecure script, or a flash resource, etc. Or anything that a browser can load and execute. Active mixed content allows an attacker to perform almost anything with the webpage. Sometimes, this leads to the attacker gaining control of the entire website.

Since active mixed content is a serious threat, many browsers will block this type of mixed content, which, in turn, affects the functionality of the site. Nevertheless, the way of content blocking depends from browser to browser.

How to Fix Mixed Content?

Mixed content not only jeopardizes the user security and privacy, but it also makes using HTTPS useless. First, find out methods to identify mixed content error.

Ways to Find Mixed Content in website

1. One way is to find mixed content is by visiting the site, and using the browser’s inbuilt tools. This can also help you to find any insecure scripts that are loaded over an HTTPS request.

2. You can also search in your source code for HTTP links.

3. Use Screaming Frog SEO Spider tool

4. Use the JitBit Scanner

5. Use the HTTPS Checker

Solution - Fixing Mixed Content Error

There are many methods to fix this error, here we describe 2 ways to resolve the error

  • Once you get the content being served over HTTS vs. HTTPS then fix the issue by simply adding an "S" to links- http:// to https://. Check if the resource is available over an HTTPS connection by copying and pasting the HTTP URL into a new web browser and changing to HTTP to HTTPS. If it is available over HTTPS then you can simply change HTTP to HTTPS.
  • One rule of thumb is, always load resources and make requests using HTTPS protocol and, using standard web programming recommendations would be helpful.

If you want to find mixed content more fastly and easily, use crawling services like HTTPSChecker.

Conclusion

In addition to fixing all the mixed content on the website, you should also be conscious about which SSL certificate provider you are choosing. Because Google is planning to unrecognize Symantec and associated SSL certificate providers. That means Google Chrome and Google page ranking will consider certificates from these SSL certificate providers as invalid. Moreover, if you have been planning to invest in an EV SSL, which costs a lot more, go for SSL certificate providers like Comodo.

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