If you see an error that says – ‘your connection is not private’ in your browser, it can be fixed. This is a common issue faced by most of the online users.
Before we move ahead to know how this error can be fixed, let’s know more about why this error occurs!
If you see the error ‘your connection is not private’ it means that Google is cautioning you and preventing you from accessing an unreliable and unsafe website. This error is displayed when your browser encounters a problem while establishing an SSL connection with a website.
What is an SSL certificate? and how does the connection to an SSL website work?
SSL [Secure Socket Layer] is created to safeguard the website data. An SSL certificate prevents the cyber criminals from stealing the private user data like name, address, contact information, debit card/credit card number etc. from your website. Therefore, if a website takes any kind of customer information or performs online transactions then it is recommended to have an SSL certificate installed on the website.
When you access a website, the server receives a request from Google Chrome asking for the website. If the requested website runs through HTTPS, your browser automatically takes the next step of scanning to know if an SSL certificate is installed on the website. When the SSL certificate is found, it is checked for ensuring if it fits the privacy standard.
In case the SSL certificate is not valid, Google Chrome will immediately prevent you from accessing the website by showing the error message – ‘your connection is not private’.
Apart from the absence of an SSL certificate, there might be many other reasons why this error occurs, they are mentioned below:
Your SSL certificate has expired
If you have installed an SSL certificate on your website and even then Google Chrome shows you the error when the website is accessed, then there is a possibility that your SSL certificate has expired. When you purchase an SSL certificate, it is not permanently valid. Generally an SSL certificate is valid for a year after this period you have to renew it.
SSL certificate is only applicable to the domain, not the sub-domain
At times, there is no error shown when the main home page of the website is accessed but the error is displayed when you access the sub-domains of the website. This depends on the type of SSL certificate you have purchased. Usually, when you purchase an SSL certificate, it applies to the main domain and if you need to secure your sub-domains as well, then you have to purchase another SSL certificate for that. In case you choose a WildCard SSL certificate, it covers both, the domain and the sub-domains of your website.
SSL certificate not purchased from a trusted organization
You might come across some companies offering free SSL certificates online. You need to make sure that you are getting the SSL certificate from a trusted organization. Most of the browsers only allow SSL certificates that are purchased through trusted organizations for ensuring the online security. Therefore, if your browser detects that the SSL certificate on your website is not from a trusted authority, it will show an error when your website is accessed.
How to fix the error – ‘your connection is not private’ in Google Chrome?
Even though the SSL certificate is the main reason causing this error, this error might also occur due to some client-side issues. Whatever the reason is, you can definitely fix this error, here’s how:
Refresh the page
When you see the error message ‘your connection is not private’, a very easy thing you can do is to refresh the page. This works at times! There are possibilities that the SSL certificate is being reissued or your browser might fail to send a request to the server because of which the error is displayed.
Make sure that you are not using a public Wifi
Although this sounds weird, but if you are using a public network at a café or airport, it might give you an error that your connection is not secure. This happens because the public networks usually operate on HTTP. Therefore, if you perform any online operations through a public Wifi, your information will not be encrypted. Your information will be displayed in the text form and every person who is connected to the same Wifi network can steal your information. This is the reason why your browser shows you the error to warn you right away.
Clean your browser cache
It is important to clear your browser cache and cookies regularly as they might get overloaded and they may result in the error.
Steps for clearing browser cache in Google Chrome:
- Go to the Chrome menu by clicking on the three dots present in the right hand side corner.
- Click on ‘More Tools’
- Click on ‘Clear Browsing Data’ through the sub-menu.
- Check the boxes next to the options ‘Browser history’ and ‘Cached images and files’.
- Click on ‘Clear data’.
Try working with the Incognito mode
At times, your browser’s cache, cookies and history are important and you cannot delete them. In this case, you can check if the website is working fine on the incognito mode. In the incognito mode, your browser works without the cookies, cache or browser history. in order to get to the incognito mode, go to Chrome menu denoted by three dots on the right hand side. Select the option ‘New Incognito Mode’ and try accessing the website through this mode. If you see the error message in the incognito mode as well, then it is a clear indication that the error message is not caused due to overloaded browser cache, cookies or history.
Manually proceed to the unsafe website
If the website shows an error message and even then you want to access it you can do that at your own risk. You can go the website by clicking on the option Advanced > Proceed and you will get to the website.