How to Fix Your Connection is Not Private Error

If you see the “your connection is not private” error appears on your screen, don’t panic. This issue is common for most internet users. Luckily, fixing it is a piece of cake. The same error will be displayed on all modern browsers with slightly different messages, and it can be a bit confusing for beginners to troubleshoot. Let us cover why this issue happens and how to repair it, shall we?

In this site owner’s guide, we’ll show you how to easily fix ‘Your connection is not private’ error on your website. We’ll also talk about why this error appears, and how you can avoid it in the future.

Why does your connection is not private error appear?

Now you may be wondering, what caused ‘Your connection is not private’ error to appear on your website. This error is peculiar because in many cases it may show up without you making any changes to your website. It can be caused by several reasons. For instance, if a user’s computer clock is out of sync, then it may show the certificate as expired.

This error appears when your browser notices a problem while creating an SSL connection, or can’t verify the SSL certificate.

Basically, any website using SSL / HTTPs protocol sends a security certificate information to users browsers upon each visit. Browsers then try to validate the certificate using the public key accompanying the certificate.

If it checks out, then users browser encrypts the data using the private key sent by your website. This encryption secures the data transfer between a user’s browser and your website.

However, if the browser is unable to validate the certificate, then it cannot transfer the data securely and displays the error that your connection to the website is not private.

connection not private google chrome

What is SSL anyway?

SSL (Secure Socket Layer) has been developed to help keep data safe. SSL encryption prevents attackers from stealing users’ private data: name, address, or credit card number. If you do any transactions via your website, we recommend you to set up SSL on your website.

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When you visit a website, Browser sends a request to the server asking for the site. If the requested website uses HTTPS, your browser will automatically scan whether there is an SSL certificate or not. Then, the certificate is checked to make sure it fits the privacy standard.

Google Chrome will immediately prevent you from entering the website if the SSL certificate isn’t valid. Instead of showing a plain blank page, Google Chrome will display the error message “your connection is not private” on your screen.

Besides the absence of an SSL certificate, there are several more reasons why this problem occurs.

    1. SSL certificate is expired

If you are the website’s owner and this problem happens to you, even though you are sure you set up the SSL certificate, you should check the active period of your SSL certificate.

    2. SSL certificate only belongs to the domain, not the subdomain

Sometimes there’s no problem on the website’s main page, but the error appears when you go to a subdomain. This is because the SSL certificate only belongs to the domain, not for its subdomain.

    3.Untrusted organizations issue SSL certificate

It is possible to have an SSL certificate without purchasing one. Issuing and setting up an SSL certificate for your site is fairly easy.

However, most browsers only allow SSL certificates from trusted organizations to assure its security. So, if your browsers find out the SSL certificate isn’t issued by a trusted organization, this error might appear.

How to fix your connection is not private error

Although an SSL certificate is the main issue causing this error, it might be a client-side issue. The good news is, that it’s an easy fix. We’ve collected 8 simple ways to fix the “your connection is not private” error in Google Chrome.

1. Reload the page

Once you see the error message on your screen, the first and easiest thing you can do is reloading your page. This might seem silly but works most of the time. Chances are the SSL certificate is being reissued, or your browser fails to send the request to the server.

Use Command + R keyboard shortcut on Mac or CTRL + Reload button on Windows.

This will force the browser to ignore the cached version of the page and load the latest version.

Force reload page

2. Make sure you don’t use public wifi

This may sound funny. Yet, using a public network like a cafe or airport wifi is the most common reason why users get this error.

Why?

Public networks usually run over HTTP. Therefore, if you perform transactions through public wifi, the information you input will not be encrypted. It will be shown as text and everyone using the same wifi network can steal your personal data. Your browser will automatically show this error to warn you.

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3. Clean your browser from cache, cookies, and browser’s history

Clean your browser cache

You may have heard this as the first advice for many internet and website-related issues. It is true in this case too. Your browser may be loading files from an older version of your website which may be triggering the issue.

To clear browser cache from Google Chrome, you can follow the step below

Clear Browser data

  1. Find and click the three dots in the top right of Google Chrome window
  2. Click More Tools
  3. Click Clear Browsing Data from the submenu
  4. Select the time range.
  5. Checkboxes near Browsing history and Cached image and files
  6. Hit the Clear data button to finish the step. Once you have cleared the cache, try visiting the website again to see if the issue has resolved. If it hasn’t, then continue reading.

Once you have cleared the cache, try visiting the website again to see if the issue has resolved. If it hasn’t, then continue reading.

4. Try Incognito Mode

Your browser’s cache, cookies, and history may be important. Don’t worry, you don’t need to delete anything yet. First, you can check if the cache is causing the issue by trying incognito mode.

By using incognito mode, you use a browser without a cache, cookies, or browser history. To access incognito mode, you can click the three dots in the top right of the Google Chrome window. Choose New Incognito Window. Next, try to visit the website using incognito mode. If a similar problem appears, it might not be because of your website’s cache and cookies.

5. Check your computer’s date and time

This one may seem a bit odd. The error might appear because your date and time aren’t set properly. Browsers count on your computer’s date and time to check the SSL certificate’s validity.

Usually, the date and time are set in the future when your certificate is no longer valid. Or, it is set to the past when you haven’t set up the SSL certificate yet. Making sure the date and time are set correctly might fix the issue.

If you are using a Windows computer, then simply right click on the taskbar and select ‘Adjust Date and Time settings’.

adjust date and time windows

This will open the date and time section in the Windows Settings app. Make sure that your computer’s date and time are correct and ‘Set time automatically’ option is checked.

date time setting automatically

6. Check antivirus software or internet security program

If you are using any antivirus programs on your computer or a VPN service, then you may want to temporarily turn them off.  Some antivirus software and internet security programs scan for HTTPS. If this feature is on, it will block unusual SSL certificates or connections. To fix this, you need to turn off the “SSL scanning” feature.

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In case you can’t find where the setting is, you can try to disable the antivirus and reopen the website. If the error no longer appears, you might want to switch your antivirus software.

7. Manually proceed with an unsafe connection (not safe)

The error Your Connection is Not Private Error can’t prevent you from visiting the website. You can still go to the website at your own risk. Proceed manually by clicking Advanced-> Proceed to domain.com link at the bottom of the error screen.

8. Ignore the SSL certificate error from the Google Chrome Shortcut (not safe)

Manually proceeding with an unsafe connection fixes the problem temporarily. If you don’t want this warning error bothering you, ignore the SSL certificate error from Google Chrome.

Remember that this method will only put the warning in silent mode. Your Connection is Not Private Error errors might still be there and prevent you from accessing unsafe websites.

To do this method, you can follow the steps below

  1. Right-click Google Chrome shortcut on your desktop
  2. Click Properties
  3. In the Target field, add –ignore-certificate-errors
  4. Click OK
  5. If there is an error code NET:: ERR_CERT_COMMON_NAME_INVALID appears, bypass it by clicking Proceed
  6. Revisit the website and now the error will disappear.

9. Check Your SSL Certificate Expiration

Another common reason for this error is expired SSL certificates. These certificates are issued for a specific period and expire when they reach the end of that period.

You can check your certificate’s expiration date by clicking on the padlock icon next to your website and selecting the certificate option.

Cheek SSL certificate expire date

8. Check Certificate Domain Name

You can set up your SSL certificate to work for different variations of a domain name. For example, www and non-www URLs.

If your certificate is only set up for one variation of your domain name, and you access the website using another variation, then this would result in ‘Your connection is not private’ error. Google Chrome will show the error code as SSL_ERROR_BAD_CERT_DOMAIN.

 

Conclusions

We hope this article helped you learn how to fix ‘Your connection is not private’ error in WordPress. You may also want to bookmark our guide on  Complete WordPress tutorial

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