Sometimes, while surfing a website on the internet, you may get an error ‘Your connection is not private’. Google Chrome indicates that this connection is not safe and a leakage of private information can occur. The cause of this error can be an insecure connection, misconfigured server or expired SSL certificate. Hacker found this very helpful in stealing the personal information or data.
There is not much to worry when you see this error on the regular and popular sites you frequently visit. Because it could be a momentary fluctuation. But when you see ‘Your connection is not private’ message on some unknown site then ensure to click on ‘Back to Safety’ button to close the webpage. Continuing could harm your PC or your personal information will get compromised.
Google Chrome being one of the safest browser will show you clearly that attackers may try to steal your information like passwords, credit card details, etc. Generally the error will have a description of “NET::ERR_CERT_COMMON_NAME_INVALID”. This indicates that the security (SSL) certificate on the web server is not valid and situation could lead to information leak.
Continue Access the Site
If you are sure about the site or you are the owner of the site then click on the ‘Advanced’ link. You will see the details showing that the server could not prove it’s identity. Click on the link ‘Proceed to website-name (unsafe)’ .
This will open the site and show the ‘Not Secure’ message in the address bar.
Private Error Vs Deceptive Error
While Chrome shows the certificate error as ‘Your connection is not private’, it shows the malicious sites as ‘Deceptive site ahead’ with full red background. Private certificate errors will show the ‘Not secure’ message on the address bar but deceptive sites will show ‘Dangerous’ in the address bar.
So you can still try to access the sites showing private error, especially if you know the site or you don’t do any transactions. But never open the dangerous sites even just viewing could severely harm your computer.
Private Connection Error in Safari and Firefox
It’s not only Google Chrome, every popular browser will show you the private connection error message. This generally happens when the website has expired SSL certificate in the server. Below is how Safari and Firefox will show the private connection error message.
Fix Your Connection is Not Private Error
Generally the security certificate happens at the server side and you may not be able to fix this error as a user. Nevertheless, you can try the following solutions and check that helps to fix this error.
- Wait and re-access
- Clear cookies and cache
- Change date & time
- Check antivirus program
- Change Chrome shortcut
- Close all Chrome tasks
- Accessing localhost sites
1. Wait for Few Seconds and Access
Most of the times the error occurs due to intermittent issues. So wait for few seconds and refresh the page or close and reopen the site again.
2. Clear Cookies and Cache
The corrupted cookies and browser cache may cause the problem. Especially when the site owner changed the new certificate, it may conflict with the old cookie information stored on your Chrome browser. Therefore you can try clearing the cookies and cache to delete all old information.
- Launch Google Chrome and press ‘Control + Shift + Delete’ keys on Windows or ‘Command + Shift + Delete’ keys on MacBook.
- This will open ‘Clear browsing data’ popup.
- Check the options ‘Cookies and other site data’ and ‘Cached images and files’ under ‘Basic’ or ‘Advanced’ tab.
- Select ‘Time range’ as ‘All time’ and click on ‘Clear data’ button.
Now check back whether Chrome can open the website.
3. Change Date & Time
Changing the date and time on your laptop/PC can fix this issue in Google Chrome. Double-check the date & time if it is incorrect then change the date & time.
- On the taskbar, right-click on the date & time section.
- Choose ‘Adjust date/time’ option from the menu.
- Click on ‘Change’ button to set date and time according to your requirements.
- After changing the date & time, close all the windows of Google Chrome.
- Restart it again and hopefully, this might have fixed the error.
4. Check Your Antivirus
Antiviruses can cause problems and block such connections. To fix this:
- You should check your Antivirus if it’s blocking any SSL certificates or not.
- If there is any HTTPS scanning feature in your antivirus, then try turning it off.
- Try disabling the antivirus for few minutes and make the connection again. If it works the antivirus is causing the problem here.
5. Changing Google Chrome Shortcut
You can also change the shortcut to fix this error. You have to change the target line a bit and it’s done. To do this:
- If your desktop has a shortcut for Google Chrome then right-click on it and choose ‘Properties’. If not then first make a shortcut of the application.
- To make a desktop shortcut for Google Chrome, navigate to this (C:\Program Files (x86)\Google\Chrome\Application) path in your file explorer. Right-click on the application and send it ‘Desktop’.
- In the ‘Shortcut’ tab, at the end of ‘Target’ input field, give a space and start typing ‘-ignore-certificate-errors’.
- Press ‘Apply’ and then ‘OK’.
After these steps, try loading the webpage again and it should be able to fix the issue. Remember to do this only if you understand the risk of accessing the insecure site.
6. Close All Google Chrome Tasks
Killing all the instances of Google Chrome can sometimes very effective in fixing issues like ‘Your connection is not private’.
- Go to ‘Start’ and type ‘CMD’ then press ‘Enter’ key. It will open the command prompt for you.
- TASKKILL /IM Chrome.exe /F and hit ‘Enter’ key.
After that, you’ll see all the tasks will start terminating. Open Google Chrome again and check the site is working without error.
7. Check Server for Misconfiguration [For Website Owners]
If you are the website owner and getting the private connection error then first check the expiry date of the SSL certificate. Nowadays, most of the hosting companies offer free SSL from Let’s Encrypt which will get automatically renewed on six months basis. The time may depends upon your host, but the SSL certificate can’t be valid for lifelong time. So the most probable reason could be that your SSL certificate got expired and causing private error.
Go to your hosting account and check the renewal date to ensure the certificate is valid. Also you can click on the ‘Details’ button to get more detail about the SSL certificate installed on your site. If you use CDN like Cloudflare then you have one more layer to check. Check the CDN settings and ensure the SSL is not expired there. Sometimes, you can disable and reenable the SSL to make it work. If nothing working out for you then get in touch with your hosting company to help in fixing the issue for you.
7. Accessing Localhost Sites
This private connection message will be annoying when you move live HTTPS site to localhost server. It will also show as not secure for any other local development you do on your computer. Fortunately Chrome has a hidden feature to allow localhost sites with SSL certificate error. Go to ‘chrome://flags’ in the address bar and search for ‘localhost’. You will see a flag #allow-insecure-localhost with the name as ‘Allow invalid certificates for resources from localhost’.
By default this option is disabled in Chrome, select ‘Enabled’ from the dropdown and relaunch the browser. Henceforth, all localhost sites will not show any certificate privacy error in the address bar.
Google Chrome will stop you with the private connection error whenever the security certificate on the server is not valid. You can click the ‘Not Secure’ messge on the address bar to see more details. We strongly recommend to click on the ‘Back to Safety’ button or close the tab. If you are the owner of the site, then try troubleshooting the server to fix the issue.