Browser security settings for Nexus and Webauth protected services

1. Introduction

This information relates to Nexus but is also relevant to all services that use Webauth to allow login via an Oxford username and password. (You might also hear your Oxford username refered to as your 'Single Sign On' (SSO) or 'Webauth' account as well as simply using the name of a service eg your 'Nexus account' - it is all the same.)

To use the Oxford Webauth system your web browser must support, and be configured to use, two particular features:

  • Cookies - small data files used to hold data about your current session
  • SSL Security Certficates - the digital equivalent of ID cards which help other people identify you, and help you identify other people, web sites, and organizations. Certificates are issued and administered by Certificate Authorities (CAs).

In some cases, browsers may require slight changes to their settings to work smoothly with Webauth and to access services such as Nexus. These are described below.

1.1. Cookies

How to enable the use of cookies for various browsers is described below.

Internet Explorer 5.5 and above (Windows)
- on [Tools/Internet Options/Privacy/] choose Medium or lower.
Internet Explorer 5 (Macintosh)
- on [Edit/Preferences/Receiving Files] choose [Cookies]. On [When receiving cookies] choose Never ask.
- on [Edit/Preferences/Privacy and Security/Cookies] choose any of the 'Enable cookies' options.
Netscape 4.5
- on [Edit/Preferences/Privacy and Security/Cookies] choose any of the 'Enable cookies' options.
- on [File/Preferences/Privacy/] choose any of the 'Enable cookies' options. Also, if present, enable Accept cookies with illegal paths in [File/Preferences/Privacy]
Safari 1.2
- on [Preferences/Security] choose Accept cookies only from sites you navigate to.
Click on the spanner (Customise and Control Google Chrome) top right of screen. Click on [options]. Select [Under the Bonnet] on the left side menu bar. Next to Privacy, click on 'Content Settings'. Under Cookies select Allow local data to be set (recommended) This is the default setting for the browser.

1.2. Certificate Settings

The location of security certificate settings for various browsers is given below.

Internet Explorer (Windows)
[Tools/Internet Options/Content/Certificates]
Internet Explorer (Macintosh)
[Edit/Preferences/Security] 'Certificate Authorities' section.
[Edit/Preferences/Privacy & Security/Certificates] - choose Select Automatically (this is the default setting)
[Edit/Preferences/Privacy & Security/Certificates]

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Written by IT Services. Latest revision 5 September 2014