Monday, July 20, 2009

Google Maps security warning in Internet Explorer

When you access GPS Connect location tracking web application your browser receives pages securely via SSL encrypted connection. However Google Maps currently does not support SSL encryption and always sends map tiles (pictures) via regular HTTP connection that causes internet browsers warn users about unsecured content on the page. Most of the browsers' warnings are not annoying except Internet Explorer's that always opens up a dialog window and requires a confirmation from a user whether she wants to load the unsecured content. In Internet Explorer 8 the message meaning and the user action has been reversed which may be confusing and we'd like to clarify that.

The new IE8 warning dialog window looks like that:

Attention: if you want to allow browser to load the unsecured content you now should answer 'NO' - (as opposed to 'yes' in previous versions of IE).

Now if you prefer using the combination Internet Explorer + Google Maps (for your information, this is the slowest combination, and Firefox 3.x, for instance, is faster than IE, and Virtual Earth works faster than Google Maps) and you are being annoyed with the IE security warning message you may turn it off and here is how. Please be aware that turning the security message off will affect browser behavior regarding any web site not just GPS Connect, so you do that at your own risk.

  1. Go to the Tools/Internet options IE browser's menu and a dialog window will pop up:

  2. Select the 'Security' tab and click on the 'Custom level' button.
  3. In the second window scroll down to the 'Display mixed content' setting and notice that the default option is 'Prompt' which means that the browser always asks your confirmation.
  4. If you want to turn the confirmation off select 'Enable' option which means that the browser will load unsecured content without asking.
  5. Click on 'Ok' buttons to save the new setting and close the dialog windows.

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