We spend a lot of time online these days. That is why we have encountered almost all kinds of errors when trying to access a website. One of them is the ‘this connection is not private’ error. What causes this error? Under normal circumstances, your browser authenticates a secure connection between your device and the website you are trying to access. If all is well, your connection will be successful. But there are also cases where the browser cannot verify this status. In such a case, you’ll see the message your connection is not private instead of the website you are trying to access. Let’s explain what kind of situations can cause this issue.
What Causes “Your Connection Is Not Private” Error
Are you encountering a privacy error instead of the website you are trying to access? Then, you should know the most common cause is an SSL connection error for this issue? The reason for this situation may be both client-side and server-side problems. In this case, there are some steps you can take, both as a user and as a website owner, to resolve this issue. We will explain these solutions for both sides. But before you start this, let’s examine how SSL issues may cause you to get this error. First of all, let’s explain what an SSL certificate is and what it does.
SSL stands for Secure Sockets Layer. It allows a website to authenticate on both the client and server sides. For example, you are planning to shop on the website of an e-commerce giant. In this process, you’ll need to share important data such as your credit card and identity information with this website. But how can you be sure that this website really belongs to that e-commerce giant you know? An SSL certificate is proof that the website’s true identity has been verified for you. In fact, the initial purpose of SSL certificates was to establish this security for users. For this reason, it was a necessity in these times for websites where users need to share such sensitive data to have an SSL certificate. Today, however, this requirement applies to almost every website. Because Google has been marking websites that do not have an SSL certificate since 2018.
Google’s approach to Chrome has influenced other browsers as well. Now almost every browser flags websites that do not have an SSL certificate. That’s why you see the “your connection is not private” error on such websites.
Solutions For The Error (For Visitors)
If you’ve been denied access to a site due to the “your connection is not private” error, there are a few solutions you can take. First of all, we will talk about the solutions you can apply to fix this error as a user. We recommend that you refresh the page first to resolve this error before you try the other solutions in this list. Because you may be encountering this error due to a momentary problem. If refreshing the page didn’t work, close your browser. Then try to connect the website you are having difficulty accessing again. If that also doesn’t work, restart your device. Then, try to access the website again. If you couldn’t manage to fix the problem still, then our list is at your disposal.
Make Sure Not to Be On Public WiFi
In fact, using public wi-fi connections brings with it many risks. Because they provide a favorable environment for hackers to make malicious attacks on other people’s devices. There are many situations that may cause these security vulnerabilities in these networks. First of all, they don’t run on HTTPS. In fact, these networks do not have a suitable configuration to run on HTTPS. Because of these issues, the browsers you use cannot authenticate the websites you are trying to access. If you’re using one of these networks, you’ll encounter the error that your connection is not private for exactly this reason.
Locations that your device is most likely to be connected to a public network include airports, hotels, and cafes. If you’ve encountered this error in this or one of the similar places, you can try to access the website in question over a secure connection. If you don’t have a chance to change your connection, you can perform the following steps to connect to public networks securely:
- First, connect your device to the public wi-fi network where you are.
- Try to access any website.
- Before the website opens, a portal screen will appear on the screen. It actually is a sign-in page to accept browsing terms and conditions.
- Input the required information on this portal screen.
- Then, you may accept those terms and conditions.
It will usually be enough to follow the above steps to fix the “your connection is not private” error. However, if you still encounter this error on the website you are trying to access, there is something else you can try. You can try to connect to another network by typing 126.96.36.199 in your browser. Or, you can access any website you want by using a VPN that encrypts your internet traffic.
You Can Try Incognito Mode
This option is generally ideal for users who do not want to clear their browser’s cache and cookies. Because clearing the cache will delay the loading of websites you will visit again for a couple of seconds. Clearing cookies also clears all usernames and passwords of your previously saved logins to the browser. Most users avoid it as it would be cumbersome to redo them. Therefore, it may be an ideal solution for these users to try to access the relevant website in incognito mode. One of the biggest advantages of this mode is that the browser doesn’t store any data about the transactions you will perform. However, this method only works if the connection errors are caused by the data stored in the browser’s cache and cookies. In order to access a website using incognito mode via Google Chrome, it will be enough to follow these steps:
- While your browser is open, click the ellipsis icon in the upper right corner of the screen.
- The first three options in the drop-down menu that you will see are about opening a new window. Among them, select the new incognito window option.
- Now continue browsing as you would normally use your browser.
Clear Browser Cache And Cookies
Browsers store important data in a cache so that websites can load faster for users who visit them back. Similarly, cookies store the login information of users. This information may be usernames and passwords that you may have forgotten before. In this context, clearing your browser’s cache and cookies may mean that all this data will be lost. But for any security error, Chrome states that clearing the browser’s cache and cookies can be effective. In this context, let us state that you should try this method in order to find a permanent solution to this problem. To do this, follow these steps with us:
- Open your browser first. Then, click the ellipsis icon in the upper right corner.
- Select the history from the options in the drop-down menu that will appear.
- In a new window that will appear, you can see the Clear Browsing Data option on the left side of the screen. Simply click on that option.
- Once you have clicked on it, a new small window will appear with three different options. These are browser history, cached data, and cookies, respectively. Make sure to put a tick next to all of these options.
- Finally, click on the clear data button in the lower right corner of this small window.
It may take a couple of minutes for your browser to clear the data. It depends on their size. You can also click on the advanced tab in the small window to have more options for this process. The settings under this tab also allow you to specify the time intervals for the data you want to clear.
Device’s Time And Date Should Be Correct
Incorrect time and date settings may also be the reason why you are encountering the “your connection is not private” error. Because the browsers you use also have their own up-to-date time and date settings. Somehow, that causes your browser to display this error. The reason why your browser behaves this way is that it cannot display the SSL certificate. The most effective precaution you can take for this is to set your device to update its time and date automatically. It’s pretty simple to do. Just follow these steps:
- Right-click on the time and date in the Windows taskbar.
- You will see the Set Time and Date option.
- Once you click on it, Windows will open a new window for you. Here, you can see the Automatically set Time and Date option. Simply activate this option.
After following these steps, close your browser and open it again to continue surfing the internet. If the error is due to the time and date settings, your access problem will now disappear.
If You Are Using a VPN, Disable It.
The main functions of VPNs are to increase the anonymity of your activities on the web. In doing so, they hide your IP address, encrypt, and redirect your internet connection. It does all these via a remote web server. However, the added security layers to increase the privacy of your web browsing may block some SSL certificates. That is one of the most obvious reasons for getting the “your connection is not private” error. In this case, all you have to do is disable the VPN service you are using. Then, visit the website you couldn’t access back to see if your VPN service is causing the error in question. If doing this didn’t work, read on with us to try other solutions.
Temporarily Disable Your Antivirus Program
Just like with VPN, the overprotective security measures of antivirus programs may block some types of SSL certificates. In fact, these antivirus programs may even invalidate some networks in order to ensure the security of the device. There is a simple way to tell if your antivirus is the source of your access issue. That’s to disable it temporarily. After disabling it, try visiting the website you are having trouble accessing again. But at this point, I have to warn you about one thing. Try disabling your VPN service and antivirus at the same time. Because there is a high probability that both of them are blocking similar SSL certificate types.
Clear The DNS Cache
Do not skip this step in case the DNS cache is causing the “your connection is not private” error. To do this, you only need to follow three simple steps:
- Open the Chrome browser first.
- Type “chrome://net-internals/#dns” in the address bar.
- On the window that will appear, you will see the text host resolver cache. You can also see the clear host cache button next to this text. Clicking this button will clear your browser’s DNS cache in seconds.
Change Your DNS Service
If clearing your DNS cache didn’t work, you also try changing your DNS server. But I have to warn you in advance. It will be a bit more arduous to do this. If you are determined, follow these steps with me:
- Click start while in Windows.
- Navigate to the control panel.
- Now, the control panel window will open. Go to the network and internet option through this window.
- Now, you will encounter a dialog box. Navigate to the Network and Sharing Center option here.
- Clicking this option will open another dialog box. Click on the ethernet option next to the connections on the right side of the screen. (If your device is using another method to access the network, its name will be written here instead of ethernet.)
- This time you will encounter a smaller dialog box. In this small window, navigate to the properties option. Now, the properties dialog box will also open above this small dialog box.
- Here, you will see the “this connection uses the following items” text. Keep scrolling down the list at the bottom of this post. What you should find in this list is IPv4 or Internet Protocol Version 4.
- Once you have found it, select it and click the Properties button at the bottom of the list.
- Another dialog box will appear. Type 188.8.131.52 into the preferred DNS server. Also, Type 184.108.40.206 into the alternate DNS server.
- At the bottom of this small window, tick the box next to validate settings upon exit. Then, finally, click OK to save your settings.
You Shouldn’t Have an Insecure Connection
This option is only useful if you are absolutely sure that the website you are trying to access is secure. In this case, you can access the website with an insecure connection by following these two steps:
- Click on the Advanced button. You can find it in the lower right corner of the screen.
- Then click on Proceed to www.website.com text.
However, doing this carries risks for websites whose security you are not sure of totally. First of all, I have to warn you about something. Do not input your personal or financial information on such websites. It may be your identity information. Or it could be the address or credit card information for online shopping. Sharing your contact information, such as e-mail and phone number, may also cause you to be disturbed by spammy messages. If you choose to continue with an insecure connection, make sure you do not input this information on these websites.
How to Fix The Error (For Website Owners)
It is different to solve “Your Connection Is Not Private” error for website owners. So we’ll explain it in different terms.
Your Website Should Have an SSL Certificate
Is your website giving visitors the “your connection is not private” error? So, you have to deal with this problem by examining the root causes. By now, you must have understood that the main reason causing this issue is the SSL certificate. Website owners must also install SSL certificates for their WordPress websites. In this way, your website will send trust signals to all browsers. So, how can you do this? Let’s explain how to do this through the example of a GoDaddy host step by step.
- Have you purchased your SSL certificate? So, now you have to request a certificate for your domain name. You can do this through the request a certificate option.
- Verify your domain ownership with the verification link that GoDaddy will send to your e-mail address.
- Navigate to your GoDaddy product page.
- Then, go to the SSL Certificates option.
- Here, click on Manage.
- From here, you may download your SSL certificate.
- Finally, add your SSL certificate depending on the requirements of your WordPress server. (This process differs for each WordPress server.)
There is one more issue you need to make sure of after you install your SSL certificate. Ensure that it has been installed on all your pages and posts properly.
How to Set Up An SSL Certificate Properly?
It’s actually easy to do. However, many website owners cannot fix access privacy errors on the website. Because they cannot set up the SSL certificate correctly. To make sure of this, first, check that all the links on your website are moved to HTTPS. Without an SSL certificate, they will stay on HTTP. This issue often occurs with media links and images. Here is a plugin that can solve these problems. This plugin is called Really Simple SSL. Activate this plugin on your website where you have installed the SSL certificate. This plugin will automatically move every link on your website from HTTP to HTTPS. In addition, there will still be a significant amount of traffic trying to access your website over HTTP. The Really Simple SSL plugin will redirect all that traffic as well. With this simple plugin, you can move your website to HTTPS without losing your traffic.
How to Update An SSL Certificate?
Are visitors to your website still encountering the “your connection is not private” error even though you have an SSL certificate? There may be only one reason for such an issue on your part. Most likely, your SSL certificate has expired. As the expiration date of your SSL certificate is approaching, you should have received a message on this subject at your e-mail address. However, you probably missed this e-mail as well. You are now aware of this. This e-mail also contained instructions to help you update your SSL certificate. If possible, find this mail in your mailbox. If you can’t find it, don’t worry! Just log into your hosting account. You can also contact the support team here. They will give you the instructions you need to update your SSL certificate.
4 Steps Through Which You Can Get SSL Certificate
Although you can contact the support team for SSL Certificate, we will still try to explain how to do this in 4 simple steps for you.
- You Need to Generate a New CSR
CSR serves to authenticate your server through your host. First, navigate to your hosting provider’s security panel. Find the TLS or SSL option from here. Now, click on the link under CSR. Verify your domain ownership by entering your contact information correctly. Keep the CSR code that your server will share with you after you create your new CSR.
- Activate your SSL certificate.
Find your expired or about to expire SSL certificate here. Then click Activate. In this process, you must enter the new CSR you just created. Finally, confirm by checking your renewal information.
- Now, it is time to validate your SSL certificate.
You need to verify your domain ownership once again to reactivate your SSL certificate. You may validate it via DNS, HTTP, and e-mail. After the verification, your SSL certificate files in crt format will be sent to you via e-mail
- Finally, you may install your brand new SSL certificate.
You need to contact the support team. Thus, you may install your current SSL certificate automatically. If you try to renew the SSL certificate manually, you may have to try this several times.
How to Fix ‘Your Connection Is Not Private’ Error, In Short
In some browsers, you may recognize it by the message this site can’t provide a secure connection. In others, you know it by the not secure website message. Today, we have delved deeper into the underlying issues of all these error messages. We also explained the security connection between browsers and SSL certificates. Then, we have listed the solutions that will help you fix the “your connection is not private” error. Let me note that I have categorized the solutions in this guide in terms of both visitors and website owners.