If you have been receiving errors when trying to connect to your email or just simply surf the Internet with your phone mentioning Server Identity Verification Errors this quick guide will take you through the causes that may be triggering the error on your phone and how you can solve them. Unfortunately these errors occur when your device, in this case, encounters obstacles while trying to establish a secure connection with a server.
The secure connection is based on trust, authenticated by SSL/TLS certificates – digital “passports” that verify the server’s identity. If there’s any issue with these certificates or the overall process, your iPhone raises a red flag in the form of Server Identity Verification Errors. Listed below are the main factors that can cause this error and how you can troubleshoot them and hopefully fix them for good.
- Incorrect date and time settings
- Untrusted or expired certificates
- Certificate name mismatch
- Network issues
- Software bugs
- Interception or Man-in-the-Middle attacks
- Understanding global standards
Incorrect date and time settings
One of the most common causes of server identity verification errors is incorrect date and time settings on your iPhone. This might seem trivial, but it’s crucial in the world of SSL/TLS certificates. These digital certificates, key to establishing secure connections, contain information about their valid period. If your device’s date and time fall outside this period, it throws a spanner in the works. Your iPhone finds it difficult to verify the server’s identity and hence, the error.
How to troubleshoot
The fix for this is simple. Check your iPhone’s date and time settings. Make sure they’re set to update automatically. This adjustment can help avert such errors.
Untrusted or expired certificates
Certificates are like passports for servers, providing identification. If a server uses a self-signed certificate, a certificate from an untrusted Certificate Authority (CA), or an expired certificate, your iPhone might reject it. Why? Because iPhones maintain a list of trusted CAs. If a server presents a certificate that’s not issued by these trusted authorities or if the certificate is past its expiry date, your iPhone raises a red flag.
Mostly, there’s little you can do on your end to fix this issue. The server owner needs to renew their certificate or get a certificate from a trusted CA. Bypassing these warnings isn’t advisable as it could compromise your data security.
Certificate name mismatch
Imagine you’re expecting a guest named John, but a person named Peter turns up at your door. You’d be suspicious, right? That’s precisely what happens when the domain name in the server’s certificate doesn’t match the server’s actual domain name. Your iPhone, in its bid to safeguard your interests, flags this mismatch, causing a server identity verification error.
Again, this issue lies in the server owner’s court. As an end-user, you should stay cautious when you encounter this error and refrain from ignoring the warning.
Not all causes of server identity verification errors are deeply technical. Sometimes, good old network problems can be the culprit. If your network is unstable or if there’s an issue with your Internet Service Provider (ISP), your iPhone might struggle to verify the server’s identity.
How to fix
Start by checking your network connection. Try switching to a different network or resetting your router. If the issue persists, it might be time to get in touch with your ISP.
No software is immune to bugs, not even the iPhone’s operating system or the apps you use. Occasionally, a bug might interfere with the process of establishing a secure connection, leading to server identity verification errors.
Update your iPhone
Keeping your iPhone’s operating system and your apps updated can help eliminate bugs. Developers frequently release updates to squash bugs and enhance security.
Interception or Man-in-the-Middle attacks
A more sinister and less common cause of server identity verification errors is a Man-in-the-Middle attack. In this scenario, a third party attempts to intercept the communication between your iPhone and the server. Your iPhone, detecting the third-party certificate instead of the server’s, will alert you with an error.
Public Wi-Fi networks are often the breeding grounds for such attacks. Avoid using unsecured networks, and consider using a VPN for added security. If you suspect a Man-in-the-Middle attack, immediately contact your network administrator or IT support.
Understanding global standards
The technology behind secure server connections and digital certificates is governed by global standards. For more information, you can visit the website of the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF), a large open international community of network designers, operators, vendors, and researchers concerned with the evolution of the Internet architecture and the smooth operation of the Internet. You can find their website here.
Server identity verification errors on your iPhone can stem from various causes – incorrect date and time settings, untrusted or expired certificates, certificate name mismatch, network issues, software bugs, and even potential security threats. While some of these issues can be addressed on your end, others demand action from the server owner or your network administrator. if you are struggling to find the source it might be worth reaching out to Apple and perhaps booking an appointment with an Apple Genius Bar representative or visiting their support website.
Being aware of these causes and knowing how to troubleshoot can bolster your device’s security and provide a smoother browsing experience. Remember, the ultimate goal of these errors is to protect your data and privacy.
Latest Geeky Gadgets Deals
Disclosure: Some of our articles include affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, Geeky Gadgets may earn an affiliate commission. Learn about our Disclosure Policy.