How to Fix “Your Connection Is Not Private” Error

How to Fix “Your Connection Is Not Private” Error

Sometimes, you may encounter issues when trying to visit a website on your browser – one of them is the “Your connection is not private” error message. This is a common issue that users face on Google Chrome and other web browsers.

Often, this is caused by a security issue on the website’s end. In other cases, the culprit is an issue on your end, which can usually be fixed without much hassle.

In this guide, we’ll explain why the “Your connection is not private” error appears and provide several troubleshooting steps to help you solve it.

What Is “Your Connection Is Not Private” Error?

Screenshot showing your connection is not private error on Google Chrome

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

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 like data theft. 

But sometimes, the problem isn’t the website’s SSL certificate at all. The problem can also be caused by issues on the visitors’ end, like their browser, WiFi network, or operating system.

For example, you can encounter this issue while using public WiFi, having an incorrect date and time on your computer, or enabling SSL scanning on your antivirus software. Fortunately, if the problem lies on your end, the “Your connection is not private” error should be an easy fix.

What “Your Connection Is Not Private” Error Looks Like on Different  Browsers

An error message similar to “Your connection is not private” can also be found on other browsers besides Google Chrome. Take a look at how this error may appear on Mozilla Firefox, Microsoft Edge, Safari, and Opera.

Mozilla Firefox

Screenshot showing your connection is not private error on Mozila Firefox

If the SSL certificate of the website you’re trying to visit is invalid, you’ll receive the message “Warning: Potential Security Risk Ahead” on Mozilla Firefox.

In the description, Firefox tells you that it “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 specific error, you can troubleshoot it more efficiently. 

Some of the error codes you may find are:

  • SEC_ERROR_UNKNOWN_ISSUER
  • SSL_ERROR_BAD_CERT_DOMAIN
  • SEC_ERROR_EXPIRED_CERTIFICATE
  • SEC_ERROR_EXPIRED_ISSUER_CERTIFICATE

Microsoft Edge

Screenshot showing your connection is not private error on Microsoft Edge

On Microsoft Edge, an invalid SSL certificate will take you to the “Your connection isn’t private” page, which is almost identical to that of Chrome’s. You’ll also see a red “Not secure” indicator next to the address bar.

Edge also tells you that “attackers might be trying to steal your information” from the site you’re trying to access.

Some of the error codes on Microsoft Edge are very similar to what you may see on Chrome:

  • NET::ERR_CERT_AUTHORITY_INVALID
  • Error Code: 0
  • NET::ERR_CERT_COMMON_NAME_INVALID
  • DLG_FLAGS_INVALID_CA

Safari

Screenshot showing your connection is not private error on Safari

When you encounter an SSL problem on Safari, you’ll get the “This Connection Is Not Private” error page. Safari also suggests that you go back to the previous page.

Opera

Screenshot showing how your connection is not private error looks on Opera

Opera’s version of the error is “Your connection is not private”, which is identical to Chrome’s. It also shows the error code underneath the description.

Clicking in Help me understand reveals further details of 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 you may see on Chrome or Microsoft Edge:

  • NET::ERR_CERT_AUTHORITY_INVALID
  • SSL certificate error
  • NET::ERR_CERT_INVALID
  • NET::ERR_CERT_WEAK_SIGNATURE_ALGORITHM

How to Fix “Your Connection Is Not Private” Error?

Although an SSL certificate is usually the main culprit behind this issue, sometimes it might also be a client-side issue. In the latter case, we’ve collected 11 simple ways to fix “Your connection is not private.”

1. Reload the Page

We’re going to start with a simple one – if you see the “Your connection is not private” error message on your browser, the first and easiest method you can try is to simply reload the page.

This might seem too obvious. However, it does work most of the time. Chances are the SSL certificate is being reissued, or your browser failed to establish a connection to the server.

2. Don’t Use Public WiFi

Using a public network like a café or an airport WiFi is the most common reason users get this error.

These days, HTTPS is a must for any website, especially those that collect private information. Unfortunately, public networks usually run on HTTP instead of HTTPS.

If you perform transactions through a public network, the information you input won’t be encrypted like on HTTPS. It will be shown as plain text, and anyone using the same WiFi network can steal your 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 more private networks like your home WiFi or mobile data.

3. Clear Your Browsing Data

One method to try when getting the “Your connection is not private” error is to delete the stored data in your browser, such as cookies or cache, images, and files.

To clear browser cache in Chrome, follow these steps:

  1. Click on the three dots in the top-right corner and then on History.
  2. Hit the Clear Browsing Data option on the left.
  3. Tick the boxes under the Basic tab to clear your browser cache and cookies, or go to the Advanced tab for more options.
  4. On the Time range drop-menu, select All time.
Screenshot showing how to clear your browsing data
  1. Press Clear data once you’re done.

4. Use Incognito Mode

If you don’t want to remove your browser’s stored cookies and cache, you can check whether they’re causing the issue by trying Chrome’s incognito mode. When you’re using this mode, your browser will not store any site’s data on your computer.

To use the incognito mode on Chrome, click the three dots in the top-right corner and then on the New Incognito Window button. Now, revisit the site you’re trying to access and see if the error persists in the incognito mode.

5. Check Your Computer’s Date and Time

This one might seem odd, but the “Your connection is not private” error might appear because your operating system’s date and time aren’t set correctly. 

Your browser relies on your computer’s date and time settings to check an SSL certificate’s validity. If they’re incorrect, it might cause some issues in the validation process. The certificate can appear to be no longer valid when it still is.

Therefore, to fix your connection error, you should make sure that the date and time are properly set. Here’s how to quickly check and adjust date/time system preferences whether you use a Mac or Windows computer.

Windows

  1. On Windows, go to Settings -> Time & Language -> Date & Time.
  2. Enable the Set time automatically and Set time zone automatically options if they’re turned off, and see if the updated information is correct.
  1. Refresh the website you’re trying to access.

macOS

  1. On your Mac, go to System Preferences -> Date & Time.
  2. Make sure that the Set date and time automatically checkbox is marked.
Screenshot showing time and date on macOS
  1. On the Time Zone tab, check whether the Set time zone automatically using current location option is also enabled.
  2. Refresh your web browser to see whether that resolved the issue.

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.

In case you don’t know where to find it, you can try to disable your antivirus software entirely and reopen the site on your browser. If the error message is no longer there, you found the cause of the problem.

7. Temporarily Disable Your VPN

A VPN (Virtual Private Network) encrypts and reroutes your internet connection through a remote server, which hides your IP address and increases your web anonymity. These added security layers can block some SSL certificates and cause “Your connection is not private.”

Temporarily disabling your VPN might remove some barriers between your connection and the website and allow you to check if it’s your VPN causing the error.

8. Try Accessing the Website via Proxy

A proxy works similarly to a VPN in the sense that it reroutes your internet connection through a remote server. The difference is that a proxy doesn’t encrypt your connection, and you can only set it up on an application-by-application basis.

There’s a possibility that other people 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 like using your neighbor’s WiFi to check if they can visit the website.

To access a website via proxy, you can use free services like the ones offered by Hidester, Hide.me, or VPNBook. All you have to do is paste the URL of the website you want to access.

Or, 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 Google Chrome to use a proxy server on Windows:

  1. Click the three dots in the top right corner and select Settings.
  2. On the left sidebar, expand the Advanced menu and select System.
  3. Click Open your computer’s proxy settings.
Screenshot showing how to open your computer's proxy settings
  1. On the new window, scroll down until you find Manual proxy setup and turn on Use proxy server.
  2. Paste the proxy server’s Address and Port number in their respective fields.
Screenshot showing how to open your website via proxy
  1. 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 connection issues. When you encounter the “Your connection is not private” error, it’s worth trying to restart your router.

A router has its own CPU, memory, and operating system. And 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. Inside a router, there’s a capacitor that can keep running for a few seconds after you turn the router 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 go to the site at your own risk. 

Such websites are vulnerable to attackers that can steal sensitive information, including your full name, address, passwords, and credit card numbers. While browsing the site, make sure to avoid online payments and don’t give away any sensitive information.

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 certificate 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:

  1. Right-click on the Google Chrome shortcut on your desktop.
  2. Click Properties.
Screenshot showing how to work around the SSL certificate
  1. In the Target field, add the following after the quotation marks:
    –ignore-certificate-errors.
  2. Click OK to save your changes.
  3. If the error code NET::ERR_CERT_COMMON_NAME_INVALID appears, bypass it by clicking on the Proceed button.
  4. Revisit the website, and the error message will disappear.

You can also achieve a similar effect by using Chrome flags. This is especially useful if you’re testing something locally. Type in the following in Chrome’s address bar:

chrome://flags/

From there, search for the “Allow invalid certificates for resources loaded from localhost” option and select Enabled.

Screenshot showing how to change date and time on windows

SSL Issues and “Your Connection is Not Private” Error

Your web browser will immediately prevent you from entering the website if it detects an SSL connection error. Instead of showing a plain blank page, Google Chrome will display “Your connection is not private” on the screen.

Besides the absence of an SSL certificate, there are several other reasons why your connection might not be private.

  • The SSL certificate is expired. SSL certificates don’t last forever – they’re usually active for one year. If you are the website owner and “Your connection is not private” error happens to you, you should check the certificate’s active period. 
  • The SSL certificate only belongs to the parent domain name, not the subdomain(s). Sometimes there’s no problem on the site’s main page, but the error appears when you go to its subdomain. This is because the website’s SSL only belongs to the domain name and not its subdomain(s). Check what kind of SSL you’ve purchased – the cheapest options are sometimes valid only for a single domain.
  • Untrusted organizations have issued the SSL certificate. Issuing and setting up an SSL certificate is relatively easy. However, most browsers only allow SSL certificates from trusted organizations. So, if your web browser doesn’t recognize the organization from which you purchased your SSL certificate, “Your connection is not private” error might appear.

Understand SSL

Want to learn more about SSL to prevent “your connection is not private” error? We have resources for you:

Conclusion

When you get the “Your connection is not private” error message in your browser, there’s no need to panic. In this article, we’ve provided 11 simple methods on how to try and resolve this issue.

If you have any questions or simply want to share your idea for fixing this issue, do not hesitate to leave a comment down below.

Author
The author

Hasna A.

Hasna is a Content Writer at Hostinger. With passion and knowledge in IT and digital marketing, she hopes to help people solve their problems and succeed. When not writing, she enjoys live music and overanalyzing movies.