Dec 24, 2021
How to Fix “Your Connection Is Not Private” Error
When trying to access a website, you might come across an error that reads “Your connection is not private.” This error indicates the browser’s failure to authenticate a safe connection between your device and the website.
“Your connection is not private” can be caused by SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) errors on the server-side or client-side issues. Whether you’re the website’s owner or the visitor, there are a number of troubleshooting methods to fix this error screen.
|Error code||“Your Connection Is Not Private”|
|Error type||SSL connection error|
|Error variations||Warning: Potential Security Risk Ahead|
Your Connection Isn’t Private
This Connection Isn’t Private
|Error causes||Invalid SSL certificates|
WiFi network errors
Operating system issues
What Is The “Your Connection Is Not Private” Error Message?
First and foremost, don’t get scared when this error appears – it merely means that Google Chrome or another browser is preventing you from visiting an unreliable website.
The “Your connection is not private” error often occurs when your browser notices a problem while creating a SSL connection or can’t verify the certificate. For example, it can be caused by an illegitimate certificate authority.
A valid SSL certificate makes a website run on HTTPS, the secure version of HTTP. Websites with problematic SSL connections aren’t reliable because they’re prone to security issues.
For instance, websites with invalid SSL certificates make it easier for hackers to commit data theft. If you enter personal information such as login credentials or payment details on such websites, they may be visible to hackers.
However, sometimes the problem isn’t the website’s SSL certificate at all. It can also be caused by issues on the visitors’ end, like their browser, WiFi network, or operating system.
You may encounter this issue while using unsafe public WiFi, having an incorrect date and time on your computer, or if your antivirus software is performing an SSL / HTTPS scan.
Fortunately, if the problem lies on the visitor’s end, the “Your connection is not private” error should have an easy fix.
What The “Your Connection Is Not Private” Error Looks Like on Different Browsers
An error message similar to “Your connection is not private” can also be encountered on other web browsers besides Google Chrome. The following sections contain examples of what the same error looks like on Mozilla Firefox, Microsoft Edge, Safari, and Opera.
If the SSL certificate of the website you’re trying to visit on Mozilla Firefox is invalid, you’ll receive the message “Warning: Potential Security Risk Ahead.”
In the description, Firefox tells users that it has “detected a potential security threat” and claims that “the issue is most likely with the website, and there is nothing you can do to resolve it.”
To get more detailed information and the specific error code, click Advanced. By identifying the particular issue, you can troubleshoot it more efficiently.
Some of the error codes you may see are:
On Microsoft Edge, an invalid SSL certificate will take you to the “Your connection isn’t private” page, which is almost identical to what Chrome’s users encounter. You’ll also see a red “Not secure” indicator on the address bar.
Edge also warns users that “attackers might be trying to steal your information” from the site you’re trying to access.
The Microsoft Edge error codes are very similar to what you may see on Chrome:
- Error Code: 0
If you encounter an SSL problem on Safari, you’ll see the “This Connection Is Not Private” page.
It will tell you that “the website may be impersonating the site you wish to access to steal your personal or financial information.” Safari will also suggest that you go back to the previous page.
Opera’s version of the error is “Your connection is not private,” identical to Chrome’s. It also shows the error code under the description.
Clicking Help me understand reveals details on the issue. According to Opera, the error is caused by “a misconfiguration or an attacker intercepting your connection.”
The error codes you may see on Opera are similar to the ones that other browsers display:
- SSL certificate error
Fixing “Your Connection Is Not Private” as a Website Owner
If you experience the “Your connection is not private” error on your website, possible SSL certificate issues must be eliminated. This section will explain four troubleshooting methods to solve this error message on your website.
1. Check Your SSL Certificate’s Expiration Date
First, check whether your website’s SSL certificate has expired. Some SSL certificates have to be renewed manually, and it’s possible that you haven’t done so.
For example, the free SSL certificates by Let’s Encrypt are only valid for 90 days, and they have to be renewed to remain active.
To check an SSL certificate’s expiration date on Google Chrome, follow these steps:
- Go to the problematic website and click the padlock icon on the address bar.
- Select Connection is secure. This option may look different depending on the website.
- Select Certificate is valid.
- In the new window, you will see the SSL certificate’s expiration date next to Valid from.
If you find that your SSL certificate is still in its validity period, try the next troubleshooting steps. If it’s expired, it’s likely causing the error.
The process of renewing an SSL certificate will vary depending on your web hosting provider and certificate authority. In general, it covers three steps:
- Generate an SSL certificate signing request (CSR).
- Activate the new SSL certificate.
- Install it on the website.
If you use a Hostinger shared or cloud hosting plan, you might be eligible for a lifetime SSL certificate. With lifetime SSL, you don’t have to worry about manually renewing it.
2. Confirm Your Certificate Was Issued Well
It’s possible that your website’s SSL certificate wasn’t issued properly, causing the error. Issuing your SSL certificate properly is a must to avoid SSL problems.
For instance, you might be experiencing errors on your website’s subdomain(s). The SSL certificate that’s installed on the parent domain name doesn’t cover the subdomain(s). To fix this, you should install an SSL certificate for each domain or use a multi-domain wildcard SSL.
It’s also possible that the SSL certificate you use was issued by a problematic organization. It’s vital to ensure you get a root certificate from a trusted certificate authority.
To find out which organization issued your certificate:
- Go to the problematic website and click the padlock icon before the address bar.
- Select Connection is secure. This option might look different depending on the status of the SSL.
- Click Certificate is valid.
- Next to Issued by, you will find the name of the organization that issued your certificate.
3. Run an SSL Server Test
An SSL server test can check the validity of a website’s SSL certificate. Some also offer insights that can help you pinpoint any SSL issues and fix them.
The SSL Server Test by Qualys, for instance, will analyze a website’s SSL and grade its quality. All you have to do is enter your website’s domain name into the free online tool.
It will take a few minutes to analyze your website’s SSL configuration. Once it’s done, you will receive a report and a grade. To view a summary of the report and the SSL scan’s detailed results, click on one of the servers.
If you received an A grade, the test found no issue with your SSL certificate. If you received any other score, it’s worth looking into the problems found and trying to fix them.
For example, the test might produce one or several of the following findings:
- The server’s certificate is not trusted.
- The server is vulnerable to certain types of attacks.
- The server only accepts certain types of cipher with older protocols.
- The server only supports older versions of TLS.
To fix the known issues, identify them in the full report and follow the instructions suggested by the SSL server test. The test provides links to articles that explain the errors and how to solve them.
4. Contact Your Host
If you have tried the three methods above and neither has solved the issue, you should contact your hosting provider. A host-specific problem may be causing the error.
Want to learn more about SSL to prevent the “Your connection is not private” error? We have resources for you:
Fixing “Your Connection Is Not Private” Error as a Visitor
Although a website SSL configuration error is usually the main cause of this issue, sometimes it can be caused by a client-side problem.
If you have reason to believe that you’re the only visitor experiencing this error when trying to access a particular website, take a look at the following 11 simple ways to fix the “Your connection is not private” error.
1. Reload the Page
If you see the “Your connection is not private” warning message on your browser, the first and most straightforward thing you can try is to reload the page.
While this might seem too obvious, it does work most of the time. Chances are, the SSL certificate is being reissued, or your browser failed to establish a secure connection to the web server.
2. Don’t Use Public WiFi
Using a public network like a café or an airport WiFi is the most common reason users encounter this error.
These days, HTTPS is a must for any website, especially if it collects private information. Unfortunately, public networks usually run on HTTP instead of HTTPS.
If you perform transactions on a public network, the information you input won’t be encrypted like on HTTPS. It will be transferred in plain text, and anyone using the same WiFi network will be able to steal your personal data if they know what they’re doing. That is why your browser will automatically show the message “Your connection is not private” to warn you.
Instead of using public WiFi, try loading the website while connected to a private network like your home WiFi or mobile data.
3. Clear Your Browsing Data
One method to try when experiencing the “Your connection is not private” error involves deleting the data your browser has stored, such as cookies, images, and files.
To clear the browser cache on Chrome, follow these steps:
- Click the three dots at the top-right corner and select History.
- Hit the Clear Browsing Data option on the left.
- Tick the boxes under the Basic tab to clear your browser’s cache and cookies or navigate to the Advanced tab for more options.
- From the Time range drop-down menu, select All time.
- Press Clear data once you’re done.
4. Use Incognito Mode
If you don’t want to remove your browser cache and cookies, you can check whether they’re causing the issue by trying Chrome’s incognito mode. When using this mode, your browser will not store any site data on your computer.
To use the incognito mode on Chrome, click the three dots at the top-right corner and select New Incognito Window. Now, revisit the same website you were trying to access before and check if the error persists.
5. Check Your Computer’s Date and Time
This might seem odd, but the “Your connection is not private” error might appear because your operating system’s date and time are wrong.
Your browser relies on your computer’s clock and date settings to check an SSL certificate’s validity. If they’re incorrect, it might cause issues with the validation process. The certificate can appear to be no longer valid while it actually still is.
Make sure that your computer’s clock and date are configured correctly to fix the connection error. Here’s how to quickly check and adjust date/time system preferences on Windows and macOS computers.
- Go to Settings -> Time & Language -> Date & Time.
- Enable the Set time automatically and Set time zone automatically options if they’re turned off. Check if the up-to-date date and time are correct.
- Refresh the website you’re trying to access.
- Go to the Apple menu -> System Preferences -> Date & Time.
- Make sure that the Set date and time automatically checkbox is marked.
- On the Time Zone tab, check whether the Set time zone automatically using current location option is also enabled.
- Refresh your web browser to see whether the issue has been resolved.
6. Check Your Antivirus or Internet Security Suite
Some antivirus software and web security programs will block unusual SSL certificates or connections. To fix “Your connection is not private,” you’ll need to turn off the SSL scanning feature.
If you don’t know where to find it, you can try to disable your antivirus entirely and reopen the site on your browser. If the error message is no longer there, this is the cause of the problem.
7. Temporarily Disable Your VPN
A VPN (Virtual Private Network) encrypts and reroutes your internet connection through a remote web server, which hides your IP address, increases your web anonymity, and protects your personal information.
Unfortunately, these added security layers can block certain SSL certificates and cause “Your connection is not private.”
Temporarily disabling your VPN might remove some barriers between you and the website and allow you to check if your VPN is causing the error.
8. Try Accessing the Website via Proxy
A proxy works similarly to a VPN – it reroutes your internet traffic through a remote web server. The difference is that a proxy doesn’t encrypt your connection, and you can only set it up on the application layer.
There’s a possibility that other people can visit the same site with no issues, and the “Your connection is not private” error only appears on your computer.
A proxy can help you check whether the website connects properly via another network. Think of it as using your neighbor’s WiFi to check if they can visit the website.
Alternatively, if you already have a proxy server’s address and port number, you can set them up on your browser. Here’s how to set up a proxy server on Google Chrome on Windows:
- Click the three dots at the top-right corner and select Settings.
- On the left sidebar, expand the Advanced menu and choose System.
- Click Open your computer’s proxy settings.
- On the new window, scroll down until you find Manual proxy setup and turn on Use proxy server.
- Paste the proxy server’s Address and Port into the respective fields.
- Click Save.
9. Restart Your Router
If you have WiFi at home, you might already know that simply restarting your router is the go-to fix for many connection issues. It’s worth trying if you encounter the “Your connection is not private” error.
A router has its own CPU, memory, and operating system. Just like a computer, it can sometimes overheat or experience bugs. Restarting your router is a quick and easy way to refresh it.
When restarting your router, make sure to wait at least ten seconds before turning it on again. Routers contain capacitors that may keep running for a few seconds after you turn the device off.
The short interval ensures that the capacitor will be empty, allowing your router to fully clear its memory and reset failed tasks once it’s turned on again.
10. Manually Proceed With an Unsafe Connection (Unsafe)
If everything else fails, remember that the “Your connection is not private” message can’t prevent you from visiting the website. You can still enter the site at your own risk.
Such websites may contain vulnerabilities that attackers may exploit to steal sensitive information, including your full name, address, passwords, and credit card numbers. While browsing the site, make sure to avoid making online payments or giving away any personal data.
To proceed manually to the site on Chrome, click on Advanced -> Proceed to (the website’s domain name) at the bottom of the message.
11. Ignore the SSL Certificate Error Entirely (Unsafe)
Manually proceeding with an unsafe connection only fixes the issue temporarily. If you don’t want this warning to bother you in the future, you can make the web browser ignore the SSL connection error altogether.
Remember that this method will only put the warning on silent mode – the private connection issue might still be there and prevent you from accessing unsafe sites.
If you want to proceed, here’s how to do it on Windows:
- Right-click on the Google Chrome shortcut on your desktop.
- Click Properties.
- In the Target field, add the following after the quotation marks:
- Click OK to save your changes.
- If the error code NET::ERR_CERT_COMMON_NAME_INVALID appears, bypass it by clicking on the Proceed button.
- Revisit the website, and the error message will disappear.
You can achieve a similar effect by using Chrome flags. This is especially useful if you’re testing something locally. Type the following into Chrome’s address bar:
From there, search for the “Allow invalid certificates for resources loaded from localhost” option and select Enabled.
The “Your connection is not private” error message is mainly caused by SSL certificate errors. However, in some cases, it can be caused by client-side issues.
While it is only one of many common connectivity errors, finding a fix for it may be frustrating. This tutorial has covered many ways to fix this issue as a website owner or a visitor.
We hope that this article has helped you troubleshoot this error. If you have any questions or tips, feel free to leave them in the comments section below.