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June 6, 2021
14 min Read

How to Fix “Your Connection Is Not Private” Error on Chrome and Safari

Website security is a serious matter, which is why modern browsers have in-built features that would alert you whenever there’s a problem with the connection, or if your connection might be unsafe.

One of the most common errors you will see is the “Your connection is not private” error.

If you’re experiencing this error, you might be asking yourself questions like:

  • What is this error all about?
  • Is it safe to ignore and proceed with the connection?
  • What can you do to troubleshoot this error?
In this article, you will learn the root cause of the “Your connection is not private” error and how to fix it.

Let’s get started!

What causes the “Your connection is not private” error?

Whenever you see this error on Google Chrome and Safari, don’t panic. It doesn’t mean that your data is compromised. In fact, that is the purpose of this error — to warn you that the connection is private and that there is a risk if you proceed.

This error can either be from the website’s end or on your end.

On your end, this could happen by a number of issues like your wifi network, operating system, and wrong date and time. Your antivirus software could also cause a problem when it blocks certain certificates.

But most of the time, the issue lies with the website’s end.

The most usual cause of this problem lies with the SSL connection. When the browser notices a problem with the website’s SSL certificate, like in the case when the browser can’t identify one, it triggers the “Your connection is not private” error.

What exactly is SSL?

The term SSL stands for Secure Sockets Layer, which is a technology that keeps an internet connection secure. It also protects the visitors from unknowingly sharing sensitive data with others.

Technically, what it does is use encryption techniques and algorithms to scramble data in transit, which prevents hackers from reading it as information is being sent over the connection.

It is easy to know when the website has an SSL certificate. There is always a padlock next to the website’s link on the browser’s URL bar.

It looks like this on Google Chrome:

Now, every time you visit a website, your browser would actually request the website’s server for information. When the server communicates using HTTPS, short for HyperText Transfer Protocol Secure, your browser checks if the website comes with an SSL certificate.

If it does and it’s valid, then you will be able to access the website right away and see the padlock icon beside the website’s link on the address bar.

On the other hand, if the browser doesn’t detect any SSL certificate, your browser will stop on its track and prevent you from accessing the website. It will then show you the error that states “Your connection is not private” on Chrome or “This Connection Is Not Private” on Safari.

Here’s how this error looks like on Safari:

While it looks like this on Google Chrome:

So how do you fix this error?

Before jumping straight away into your browser, there are a few quick non-browser fixes you have to try first. As stated in the earlier section, the problem sometimes lies on your end for a number of reasons.

Let’s get into it.

Quick Non-Browser Fixes to Try

The reason why you should try out these fixes first is that there is a chance the problem would still persist if you don’t resolve the issues on your end. The fixes listed here will only take you a few seconds.

1. Use Private Wifi

If you’re viewing a website from public wifi like in a restaurant or library, then there is a chance that this is what’s causing the problem. Public networks run on HTTP, the non-secure variant of the transfer protocol.

Although modern operating systems nowadays have a feature as shown in the image below that enables you to configure the network profile, it’s still not safe to perform transactions on public connections because of the unsafe transfer protocol.

The short story here is that when you use a public network to perform transactions, like paying online with a payment platform, your data, like usernames and passwords, will be shown in plain text to ill-intentioned people who know what to do.

That is the reason why your browser would stop you from accessing websites when you’re in a public network. Of course, you can still proceed if you want to. But try to avoid doing transactions or exchanging sensitive data with others while you’re on that connection.

2. Use the Correct Date and Time on Your Computer

If your computer isn’t set with the correct date and time, your browser may have a problem checking the validity of a website’s SSL certificate. The certificate may seem invalid already according to your local date and time.

Fortunately, this is an easy fix on both Windows and Mac.

On Windows, simply visit the date and time settings by going to Settings > Time & Language > Date & Time. Then, enable the option for setting the date and time zone automatically and check if the updated date and time are now correct.

If you’re using Mac, then all you need to do is go to the System Preferences > Date & Time. Check the option for setting the date and time automatically. On the Time Zone tab, enable the option for setting the time zone automatically.

Again, check whether or not the correct date and time are now displayed on your computer.

Once you have set the correct date and time, refresh the website that you’re trying to access. If the problem lies with the invalidation of the SSL certificate due to an incorrect date and time, then this will certainly fix the error.

3. Disable the SSL Scanning Feature of Your Antivirus

Unknowingly, it could be your antivirus that’s causing the error. Some antivirus software has an SSL connection scanning feature and sometimes, they catch unusual certificates, which then trigger the error.

Here’s an example of a scanning feature from the Avast Antivirus Software:

To solve this, all you need to do is deactivate that feature. You may have to dig deeper into the software you’re using as each one is different than the other. If you can’t find the feature, you could also temporarily turn off the antivirus software and see if it solves the problem.

After disabling the feature or the antivirus software, try refreshing the website that you’re trying to access. If the problem has now disappeared, then you can confirm that it is the antivirus that’s causing the problem.

4. Restart Your Router

Lastly, you may have to try and restart your router. Since the router has its own operating system, it could also cause the error especially when it overheats or experiences some temporary bugs.

To resolve this, all you need to do is restart the router. Take note, however, that you must wait for at least ten seconds before turning on the router again.

Restarting the router is a way of refreshing the operating system inside of it. The ten seconds gap is a way to clear the capacitor and enable the router to fully flush its memory and solve bugs from failed tasks.

How to Fix the “Your Connection Is Not Private” Error on Chrome and Safari

After trying out all the quick non-browser fixes we recommend and the problem still persists, then chances are, the problem is with the website server. The fixes below will help you fix the problem and proceed to access the website.

1. Refresh the Page

It’s possible that the connection has timed out while it was connecting with the website server, which would have resulted in a number of bugs. This could result in the failure of issuing the SSL certificate, which then triggered the error.

To do so, simply click on the refresh button.

This simple fix will restart the connection with the website server and possibly reissue the SSL certificate.

2. Clear Your Browser Cache

When you visit a website, it saves data like cache, images, and files in the browser so your experience becomes smoother and faster the next time you visit the same website. Herein lies one of the problems.

It could be that one of the files that your browser downloaded is causing problems that triggered the error.

Your browser caches SSL certificates, which is normal behavior. But if the cached SSL certificate in your browser has already expired when you visit the website, then it could cause an error even if the website has already renewed its certificate.

To solve this, you need to clear your browsing cache.

Here are the steps you need to take if you’re using Google Chrome:
  1. Click on the three dots (vertical ellipsis) found on the upper right section of the browser.
  2. Hover your mouse over the More tools option.
  3. From the list, select Clear browsing data.
  4. Change the Time range to All time.
  5. Check all the options.
  6. Click on the Clear data button.

If you’re using Mac, follow these steps:
  1. On the top toolbar of the app, click the Safari menu.
  2. Then, click on Clear History.
  3. Select all history from the dropdown options.
  4. Click on the Clear History button.

Once you’re through, revisit the website and see how it goes.

If the error doesn’t show up, then it’s most likely that the copy of the SSL certificate cached by your browser was outdated. If the browser has already renewed its SSL certificate, then you would be able to access the website without any error.

3. Access the Website via Incognito Mode

Some people may have reservations about deleting their browser’s cache. As you may know, this action will remove all the files saved from all websites that you have visited ever since you last cleared the history.

If you’re one of those people, then you could instead use the incognito mode of your browser.

To use Google Chrome’s incognito mode, all you need to do is click on the three dots in the upper right corner. Then, click the New incognito window option.

On Safari, the steps are quite similar, even if the incognito mode is named differently.

To go incognito on Mac, all you need to do is to select File on the top menu bar. On the list, choose New Private Window.

The incognito mode, or private window, is a special feature in browsers that will enable you to visit a website without storing any site’s data on your computer. Additionally, it will not use any of the files cached on your browser when accessing a website.

Once you’ve activated the incognito mode in your browser, try to revisit the website and see if the error is still around.

4. Access the Website via Proxy

If you want to access the website without clearing your browser cache and going incognito, then you could use a proxy service. A proxy service works by rerouting your connection through a remote server.

In a way, it’s like you're using a virtual private network. The difference, however, is that using a proxy will not encrypt your connection.

There are a lot of good proxy services out there that you could use for free. One of them is Hidester Proxy. To use it, all you need to do is copy the link to the website you want to visit and paste it on the form provided as shown below.

Using a proxy will not necessarily solve the problem per se. But it will allow you to visit the website without triggering an error. In addition, you will know whether or not the problem is unique to you (or if others are experiencing it as well).

If you don’t like to use a proxy service, you could also do it manually on your computer. However, this is only possible if you have a proxy server’s address and port number, which usually comes with paid VPN services. You could also buy one from proxy sellers.

Set up a Proxy for Google Chrome

To set up Google Chrome to use a proxy server, follow these steps:
  1. Click the three dots on the upper right corner.
  2. Select Settings.
  3. Expand the Advanced menu on the left-hand side panel.
  4. Select System.
  5. Click Open your computer’s proxy settings.

On your computer’s proxy settings window, scroll down a little until you find the section for Manual proxy setup. On the fields provided, simply enter the server address and port number and click on the Save button.

Don’t forget to enable the Use a proxy server option.

Set up a Proxy for Safari

To set up Safari to use a proxy server, follow these steps:
  1. On the top toolbar of the app, click the Safari menu.
  2. Then, click on Preferences.
  3. On the new window, click on Advanced.
  4. In the advanced tab, click the Change Settings box.
  5. On the network pane of System Preferences, change the proxy settings according to the information that you have.
  6. After entering the information required, click on the OK button.

After setting up the proxy server on your computer, revisit the website and see whether or not the error is still there.

Whether you use a proxy service or set up a proxy server by your own on your computer, remember that you’re only accessing the website via a rerouted connection. It’s like using someone else’s wifi connection to check if you can visit the website with it.

5. Disable Your VPN

On the flip side, using a VPN service could result in a few problems. As you may know, using a VPN will encrypt your connection and enable you to use a rerouted connection. With this, there’s a chance that the SSL certificate gets blocked as well.

For example, let’s say you’re using the SetupVPN Chrome addon. All you need to do then is to select the addon and disconnect/disable the service.

Since VPN services vary, the specific steps may differ as well. But the bottom line is to disable it temporarily. Do the same even if your VPN is separate instead of an addon.

By doing this, your connection will revert to its default settings (unrouted). This will remove whatever security and rerouting layer the VPN set up on your browser and will allow you to check if it’s the VPN that’s causing the error.

6. Proceed With the Unsafe Connection

After everything that you have tried and the problem still persists, do know that you can still proceed with the connection. The error only serves as a warning and will not restrict you from visiting the website.

If you proceed with the unsafe connection, remember that you are vulnerable to attacks that could steal sensitive data including (but not limited to) usernames, passwords, credit card numbers, addresses, and more.

The process in proceeding with the unsafe connection is the same in Google Chrome and Safari. All you need to do is click on Advanced on Google Chrome (or Show Details on Safari), read the warning, and follow the instructions on how to proceed to the website.

After that, you will be able to visit the website. You will also notice that the link on the address bar will not have a padlock.

In addition, remember to not make any online payments, whether through a credit card or an online payment platform. Also avoid sharing any sensitive or personal information while accessing the website.

Don’t Ignore the Warning

Although there’s no need to worry when you see the “Your connection is not private” error when attempting to access a website, it doesn’t mean you should ignore the warning. This is especially true if you want to proceed to the website regardless of the error.

As what has been repeated all throughout the article, using an unsafe connection could result to you leaking sensitive information to others, which is why you must proceed with caution if the website indeed has no SSL certificate.

On that note, if you are planning to build a website yourself, it’s important that you choose a hosting service that includes a free SSL certificate.

All our web hosting plans include a free SSL certificate. That way, you won’t be scaring would-be visitors who are wary of accessing a website that gives them the “Your connection is not private” warning.

You could start with our most affordable plan right now that’s perfect for startups, which only costs 100 pesos per month.
Flona / Customer Support Team @GMO

A Boss Level Tech nerd. Her interests range from all things web hosting to swiping food from the pantry. As she says, free food is the best food. You can't out nerd her and your food is definitely not safe when she's around.

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