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the [ file ai ] blog » signed

Posts Tagged ‘signed’

To Buy A Cert Or Not To Buy A Cert?

Saturday, July 5th, 2008

Today I received some insightful feedback from a reader named “Shirley” from velvetblues.com regarding her experience using fileai.com. In her comment she said that she “received a security warning and opted out” when trying to use the site for the first time.

Unfortunately, I understand where she’s coming from. In this day an age, when you’re browsing the web and a window pops up entitled “Security Warning” most peoples’ initial reaction is to click the “Cancel” button. The problem is, that’s the way Signed Java Applets work on today’s modern browsers, and a Signed Java Applet is what enables fileai.com to do cool things like accept drag-and-drop files, negotiate through gnarly firewall and router network configurations, and transfer files directly without having to upload them to a server.

There is one thing I can do to make the Security Warnings a little less scary, but it’ll cost me $300 - $500 to do so. :(

If I purchase a Code Signing Certificate from Verisign or Thawte (the same companies that sell SSL Certificates that make web pages secure) then my Signed Java Applet Security Warnings will change from this:

Security Warning - Windows XP

Security Warning - Mac OS X

to something like this:

Signed Java Applet Security Warning in Windows

Signed Java Applet Security Warning - OS X

(Obviously they won’t say “Northwestern University”, but you get the idea.)

So I guess the questions is: If I spent the $300-$500 to buy a Code Signing Certificate to make the Security Warnings say that my Signed Java Applet was “Verified”, would that make any of you more willing to click “Run” or “Trust”? Or is just the fact that there is a Security Warning staring you in the face enough to make you go somewhere else?

Thanks for all the great feedback, and please keep it coming! :)

Security Warnings & Signed Java Applets

Tuesday, June 17th, 2008

When you use fileai.com to transfer files, chances are you’re going to see a security warning that looks something like this if you’re running Windows:

Security Warning - Windows XP

Or like this if you’re on a Mac:

Security Warning - Mac OS X

The reason you see this is because fileai.com uses a small application called an “applet” to transfer files to and from your computer. Applets aren’t installed, but instead run from within a web page similar to a YouTube video.

It is the applet that makes transferring files between computers possible without uploading them to a server or installing something on your computer.

For security reasons, web sites cannot transfer files on your computer without first being given permission, and that is what you are doing when you click “Run” or “Trust”.

If you don’t want to have to click “Run” or “Trust” every time you use fileai.com, simply check the “Always trust content from this publisher” box and click “Run” in Windows:

Checked Security Warning - Windows XP

Or click the “Show Certificate” button and check the “Always trust fileai.com” box and click “Trust” in OS X:

Checked Security Warning - Mac OS X

Have any questions or concerns? Leave a comment! :)