How To Fix Connection Is Not Private Error In All Major Browsers

Sometimes, you might have come across a message on your browser that “Your connection is not private”. This message comes up and you are not able to connect to the website you wanted to visit. Although this message comes up in Google Chrome, other browsers also display more or less the same message, with minor variations. What does this message really mean? Why does this error occur? How can this error be resolved? Read on to learn more about this gruesome error, and you will know the answers to all these questions.

What is the meaning of “Your connection is not private”?

There are different kinds of websites on the internet. Some begin with “HTTP” and others with “HTTPS”. The “HTTPS” sites collect information from the user that is supposed to be private and secured so that it is not hacked. This information might include your login details or credit card information. For such sensitive information, HTTPS is a standard that indicates that the website is secure and safe to access. Many times, the browser detects that the connection is not secure and the information might not be private. 

There are a number of ways by which a browser determines this. In any condition, if the website does not satisfy the safety standards, the browser gives a warning that “Your connection is not private” and blocks access to that website. This message means there is a mismatch or an interrupted flow of information that is supposed to remain secure. Most of the time, this error means that the data you enter on the website will not be private and others will be able to access it. So, it is often wise to stop proceeding further.

But sometimes, you might need to bypass this warning and access the website anyway. At such times, you will be required to understand how to resolve this error. Before we get to that, however, let’s look at the variations of this error in different browsers.

Variation of “Your connection is not private” error in different browsers:

1. Google Chrome

With the latest update, Google Chrome now identifies all HTTP websites as “Not secure”. All the HTTP websites are designated as “Not secure” in the address bar specifically. This is in accordance with the policy of name and shame and encouraging websites to move to the more secure HTTPS standard. When you visit an insecure HTTPS website, the error message is displayed as “Your connection is not private”. Along with the message, an error code is also mentioned. This helps determine what is the cause of the error. Following are some types of error codes that you may encounter:

  • NET::ERR_CERT_AUTHORITY_INVALID
  • NET::ERR_CERT_COMMON_NAME_INVALID
  • NET::ERR_CERT_WEAK_SIGNATURE_ALGORITHM
  • NTE::ERR_CERTIFICATE_TRANSPARENCY_REQUIRED
  • NET::ERR_CERT_DATE_INVALID
  • SSL certificate error
  • ERR_SSL_VERSION_OR_CIPHER_MISMATCH
  • ERR_CERT_SYMANTEC_LEGACY
connection is not private error

2. Mozilla Firefox

The error message in Mozilla Firefox is a slight variation of the message that comes in Chrome. The message here is “Your connection is not secure”. Here is how the error message might look: 

The error codes in Mozilla Firefox are as follows:

  • SEC_ERROR_EXPIRED_ISSUER_CERTIFICATE
  • SEC_ERROR_EXPIRED_CERTIFICATE
  • SEC_ERROR_UNKNOWN_ISSUER
  • SSL_ERROR_BAD_CERT_DOMAIN
  • MOZILLA_PKIX_ERROR_ADDITIONAL_POLICY_CONSTRAINT_FAILED
  • MOZILLA_PKIX_ERROR_MITM_DETECTED
  • ERROR_SELF_SIGNED_CERT
connection is not private error

3. Microsoft Edge

Microsoft’s latest web browser, Microsoft Edge, uses the same line as Mozilla Firefox, i.e., “Your connection is not secure” or “Not secure” in the address bar. The error codes are different from others. Here are the commonly found error codes:

  • DLG_FLAGS_INVALID_CA
  • DLG_FLAGS_SEC_CERT_CN_INVALID
  • Error Code: 0

4. Safari

If a website is not secure or has connection is not private error, Safari displays the message “Not secure” in the address bar. This message appears when you visit an encrypted website and the certificate of the site is expired or illegitimate. Safari warns you not to enter your login or credit card information on such websites. 

How To Fix Connection Is Not Private Error In All Major Browsers

The type of error message generated by each browser is a bit different. The error codes are specific to each browser. Despite this, the methods of resolving this issue is more or less the same for all browsers. Basically, these problems can occur due to issues at two different places: the client side and the server side. Client side means what can be fixed on your computer or browser locally. The server side means the problem is with the website, and this generally means that there is an error with the certificate.

Here are the ways you can try to resolve connection is not private error.

Client-side Errors

1. Reload the page

Sometimes, the most complex problems are solved by the simplest methods. There is no explanation as to why it works. It just works. The next time you are having the “connection not secure” error, try reloading the page. This can mean that you might have to close the browser, reopen it, and try to access the website again. There is no guarantee that this will work. But this should be the first thing you should try. Someday, it might save you from unnecessary frustration.

2. Try incognito mode

 If reloading the page doesn’t work, try opening the site in incognito mode. In the incognito mode, Google doesn’t save cookies. This might help resolve the connection is not private error. If this doesn’t help, try the next option.

3. Check the clock of the computer

Go to “Date and Time” settings on your computer and check if the settings are correct and up to date. Many times, errors in browsers are caused when the time and date setting of the computer is not in sync with the browser. This can definitely be one of the reasons why you are getting the “your connection is not private” error. This also solves other issues you might have with your computer. So, checking your clock before getting panicked is definitely a wise move.

4. Disable Antivirus Temporarily

Even after fixing the clock, if you still face the “your connection is not private” error, then the next step is to check your antivirus software. Antivirus software is known to block the website’s security certificate sometimes. This causes the website to be blocked. The problem is generally associated with the “SSL Scan” feature of the software. You can disable it temporarily and try accessing the website.

connection is not private

5. Do this if you are using a public WiFi

On public WiFi networks, it can often be found that HTTPS is not running on everything. Most of the time, there is a problem of poor configuration. At such times, it is best to sign in to the public WiFi portal by visiting an HTTP site and then entering your credentials. After that, you can try visiting HTTPS sites. This should solve the “Your connection is not private” error.

6. Clear Browser Cache

If none of the above steps resolve the error, then it’s time for you to clear the Browser cache. If you host your WooCommerce store using a good WooCommerce hosting provider, you won’t need to manually clear the cache. 

Clearing the browser cache will load the website anew. This will help if the website has updated its certificate recently. At the same time, delete all the cookies. This can be a major step to resolve the connection is not private error. 

browser cache

If this doesn’t work, then you will need to take the in-depth troubleshooting steps listed below. 

7. Clear SSL State

Clearing the SSL state will reset all the certificate information from the browser and get rid of connection is not private error. This will allow the browser to accept the new certificate.

Let’s discuss how we can clear the SSL state in Google Chrome:

Step 1: Click on the rightmost icon on the Google browser toolbar. (It looks like 3 dots placed vertically.)

Step 2: Check for the “Settings” from the drop-down menu and select it. A new window will open. Scroll down and click on Advanced.

Step 3: Scroll down to “System”. Click on “Open Proxy Settings”. This will open a new dialog box.

Step 4: In the “Internet Properties” dialogue box, select “Content.”

Step 5: Click the “Clear SSL state” option. Click Ok.

Step 6: Restart the Browser.

8. Restart Computer

If none of the above works, try to restart the computer to resolve the connection is not private error in your system. Restart your router. This clears a lot of cache and temporary glitches.

9. Update the operating system

The last thing you can try from your side is to update your operating system. This should resolve the issues that are on your computer. Older operating systems do not support the latest security standards. Thus, they are not compatible with the security certificates that are so important to browsers, and this definitely causes an error. Another alternative is to update to the latest version of your operating system, which resolves many issues. This also includes those that cause the “Your connection is not a private error” in most browsers. 

If, even after following these steps, the connection is not private error does not get resolved, then there is nothing you can do on your side. The problem might be on the server side. In this case, you will have to contact the administrator. If you are the administrator, then you will have to look into the server side. There can be the following problems on the server side:

Server side Errors

1. Change DNS servers

You need to change your DNS servers from Google’s public DNS (8.8.8.8 and 8.8.4.4) or Cloudflare’s DNS (1.1.1.1 or 1.0.0.1 ) to your ISP’s default DNS server. This often fixes the connection is not private error.

2. SSL Server Test

There might be a chance that everything is not set up correctly on the websites. There might be a problem with proper configuration or some issue with intermediate certificates. With online SSL server test tools, it becomes easy to run an SSL Server Test at the server end. There are websites that run these tests. Examples include Qualys, SSLshopper, HTbridge, Digicert, etc.

3. Check the expiry of the certificate

It is common for SSL certificates to expire without the knowledge of the owner. This might be because the auto renew does not work as your credit card information is changed during that period or simply you have forgotten to renew your certificate. This is a very common occurrence of connection is not private error. It can simply be corrected by renewing your certificate. You can check the expiry of your certificate on Qualys site. It will show the following report: 

Qualys

4. Check Subject Alternative Name

A subject alternate domain is associated with each certificate. It includes all types of domain variations that a site is issued a certificate for. Due to HTTPS redirects in place, the connection is not private error is rare nowadays but still worth checking out.

5. Check if the certificate uses SHA-1

SHA-1 is an outdated cryptographic algorithm that is no longer supported which is what causes connection is not private error. Websites now use SHA-256, which is a more secure algorithm. Therefore, certificates that use SHA-1 are no longer considered secure. This can definitely cause an error in the browser. Make sure you update all your certificates to use SHA-256. Again, you can check it on the Qualys site. Check the signature algorithm in the report. 

6. Symantec Issued Certificates

Check if your certificates are issued by Symantec. Symantec has not been complying with industry standards when it comes to certificates. Since January 2017, browsers do not support certificates issued by Symantec. If you still have old Symantec certificates, you should consider replacing them. Again, you can check it on the Qualys site. Check the issuer in the report. 

7. Ask For Help

If nothing works and you are frustrated, it’s always better to ask for help to resolve connection is not private error. You can post a query on forums and ask for developers or server administrators. There is a large community that is working on the same issues. You might benefit from the wisdom of your fellow professionals.

8. Proceed Manually (Unsafe)

This is a very unsafe option to resolve connection is not private error. You should only use it if you think there is no other way to address the problem and you are sure the site is safe. Click on “Advanced” in the error message. Then choose “proceed to yoursitename.com”. This will make you vulnerable to security attacks and your information might be stolen. 

9. Disable Browser Checking SSL certificates (Developers only)

This option can be exercised for testing and development purposes. You can allow invalid certificates for a local host. To do this, in the Google Chrome title bar, you can copy and paste the link: chrome://flags/#allow-insecure-localhost. Once there, click on the option “allow invalid certificates for resources loaded from the local host” and click on enable. After restarting your browser, you can test invalid certificates at your local host.

Conclusion

Encountering errors like “Connection is Not Private” can be frustrating. We’ve explored the common reasons behind this issue in major browsers and provided comprehensive solutions to help you navigate through it. Remember, ensuring a private and secure online experience is crucial, not just for your personal data but also for your peace of mind. 

Sometimes, it is better to comply with a warning than to bypass it. Errors are there for a reason. But sometimes it is not useful to continue having the errors as well. We have tried to present some useful tips to resolve the” your connection is not private’ error. Do you have an alternative that is even smarter? Do share in the comments. The fellow users will thank you. Have a great day.

FAQs

Is it safe to proceed to a website with a “Connection Is Not Private” error? 

Proceeding to a website with a “Connection Not Private” error can be risky as your data might not be encrypted, making it vulnerable to interception. It’s advisable not to enter any sensitive information on such websites. Instead, follow the troubleshooting steps mentioned in this guide to resolve the issue and access the website securely.

What should I do if I still encounter the error after trying all the methods mentioned?

If you have tried all the methods and still face the “Connection Not Private” error, it’s possible that the issue lies with the website itself. In such cases, contact the website administrator or support team to report the problem. They can verify their SSL/TLS configuration and resolve any issues on their end.

How can I ensure my online security and privacy in the future? 

To maintain online security and privacy, it’s essential to keep your operating system, browsers, and antivirus software up-to-date. Additionally, use strong, unique passwords for different accounts, enable two-factor authentication where possible, and be cautious while unintentionally clicking on links or downloading files from unknown sources. Regularly update your knowledge about online security practices to stay protected in the ever-evolving digital landscape.

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