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Blackboard Made Safer with SSL

Renee Cicerchi

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Beginning Sunday, March 11th, all Blackboard functionality will be more secure, thanks to Secure Socket Layer (SSL) technology. Prior to this date, secure connections have been available for email, logon and Webcat functions. After March 11th, information exchanged between the Blackboard website and users’ browsers will be encrypted, adding an additional layer of security onto an already stable environment.

This change will be seamless, save for Blackboard’s URL, which will now be prefaced by HTTPS instead of HTTP. Users will also now receive messages stating “This page contains both secure and non-secure items. Non-secure items are usually images or icons from a non-SSL host. Do you want to display the non-secure items?” This happens simply because some of the images used Blackboard modules created by content contributors are located on a non-SSL server (referred to as “mixed content”).

To stop these messages from displaying, simply change Internet Explorer’s setting to allow mixed content in a trusted site. Here’s how:

  • In Internet Explorer, click the Tools button, and then click Internet Options.
  • Click the Security tab, and then click the Trusted Sites icon.
  • Click the Sites button
  • Uncheck the box, Require server verification (https:) for all sites in this zone
  • In the textbox under Add this Web site to the zone, type *.unh.edu, click Add. (If you are also a GSC user then also add *.granite.edu)
  • The sites will move to the trusted websites list. Click OK
  • Click on Custom Level...
  • Scroll to the Display mixed content setting in the Miscellaneous section, and then click Enable.
  • Click OK
  • Click Yes to "Are you sure you want to change security settings for this zone"
  • Click OK. Close all boxes and you are done.

After allowing mixed content, you will see WebPages with both HTTPS and non-HTTPS content with no message.