Are you seeing “your connection is not private” error when you try to access your site? If yes, this may be troubling as you want your site users to feel secure when using your site – even more so if you have an eCommerce site.
However, there’s no need to panic. In this article, we’re going to take you through what this error message means, the possible causes, and how to get things working again for a smooth surfing experience.
- What Your Connection Is Not Private Error means?
- How “Your connection is not private” error is triggered
- Ways to fix Your Connection Is Not Private Error
Section One: Client – Side Issue
- Reload the Page
- Check your Network connection
- Set your Computer’s Time and Date
- Try in Incognito Mode
- Clear your Browser Cookies, Cache, and History
- Disable Antivirus Temporarily
- Update your Operating system
- Proceed Manually
- Restart your Computer
Section Two: Website Certificate Problem
- Get a Certificate
- Install and Activate an SSL Plugin
- Fix Mixed Content issues
What Your Connection Is Not Private Error means?
Some website URLs still use the insecure HTTP which stands for Hypertext Transfer Protocol. It is used to transfer data from a web server to be displayed on the web browser. The information that is transferred from a server to the browser is not secure and can be easily stolen.
However, most websites have now adopted the HTTPS, which stands for Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure. HTTPS protocols use SSL (secure sockets layer) certificate, which creates a secure connection between the server and the browser. As a result of the secure connection, sensitive information is protected from being stolen while being transferred between the server and the browser.
“Your Connection Is Not Private Error” message means that Google Chrome is preventing you from visiting your site because it is untrusted. Ultimately, the browser prevents you from gaining access to your website because the SSL certificates cannot be validated.
Typically, the error originates from issues from the side of the client, or from problems with the site’s certificate.
NOTE: SSL Certificates are small data files which are installed on web servers. They activate the padlock functionality and the https protocols that ensure secure connections from a web server to a browser.
How “Your connection is not private” error is triggered
When you visit a website on google chrome or any other browser, it sends a request to the server where the site is hosted. The browser tries to validate the SSL certificate installed on the site’s server to ensure that its privacy standards are current. If the validation of SSL certificate fails, an inbuilt user protection feature in Chrome automatically prevents you from reaching the site. Chrome will then deliver an error message “your connection is not private” (as seen below).
Ways to fix Your Connection Is Not Private Error
Section One: Client – Side Issue
Very often, this error may be from your device or browser. Your site may be just fine and other users may be able to access it without this error. The following steps can help you fix client side issues.
Note: If several users are seeing the same error, then skip to the Server Side section as the error is not from your device but from your site.
Reload the page
The first and easiest thing to do is to close your browser, re-open it, and try to load the page again. It could be that your browser failed to connect with the site’s certificate at an earlier attempt.
Check your network connection
Public wifi networks usually run over HTTP. If they do run over HTTPS, there is a chance that they’re not properly configured. If you perform transactions through public wifi, the information you input will not be secure. Change your connection from a public wifi network to a private wifi network and try again.
Set your computer’s time and date
Chrome counts on your computer’s date and time to check the web site’s SSL certificate’s validity. Make sure that the Computer’s date and time are set correctly to fix the issue.
Try browser’s incognito mode
By using incognito mode, you use a browser without a cache, cookies, or browser history. To access incognito mode, you have to click the three dots in the top right of Google Chrome window and choose New Incognito Window.
Next, try to access the website again using the incognito mode.
If it works on incognito mode, then there’s an issue with your cache or cookies, and clearing them should resolve the security warning.
Clear your Browser Cookies, Cache, and History
- On your Chrome browser, click the three dots at the top right corner and select More tools >> Clear browsing data.
2. Choose a time range or delete everything by selecting All time. Then check the boxes next to Cookies and other site data and Cached images and files, and click Clear data.
Disable Antivirus Temporarily
Some antivirus program could cause you to see this issue. To test this, locate the antivirus program and turn off protection. Then go on to test your site.
Update your Operating System
Updating your Operating System prevents private information on your Computer from being compromised. More importantly, it helps you stay in sync with newer security technologies. If your OS is outdated and does not support newer security technologies, such as TSL V1.1, or 1.2, this could be the cause of your error.
You have the option of proceeding manually to the website. This option is not usually recommended because no input data would be secure, especially if you’re connected to a public wifi network. However, if you must proceed to the site through this option, make sure you switch from public wifi network connection to a private wifi network connection.
- Click on Advanced option on the bottom part of the screen, and proceed to the site in an unsafe mode.
Restart your Computer
Rebooting your device will help clear out the temporary cache. This could very well fix your issue.
Section Two: Website Certificate Problems
In some cases, you may be seeing this error across devices. Your users may also report seeing such an error. If that is it for you, then there’s an issue with the site. In this section, we will show you how to fix site certificate and https issues.
First, it could be that your SSL certificate has simply expired or you do not have a valid one installed. It is wise to check the certificate status from time to time and take steps to fix any problem.
There are free sources of certificates, like Let’s Encrypt. These are easy to install and use and should get you out of this issue quickly.
What you need to do to fix certificate issues are:
Get a Certificate
Login to Control Panel of your web hosting account. Try to locate the “Security” section, you will see multiple settings including the free SSL certificate option. Simply turn it on to enable SSL on your website. Web hosting control panels look different, depending on the company, but these steps should be similar.
Alternatively, you may consider purchasing an SSL certificate from your host, or from a provider like Godaddy. These providers have good guides on installing their certificates.
Learn more about installing SSL in WordPress.
Install and Activate an SSL Plugin
Having enabled your SSL Certificate, you may need to install and activate an SSL plugin on your website.
Note that this is not a “Required Step”. After correctly installing SSL in the previous step, you should be fine. However, an SSL plugin can help prevent problems like “Mixed Content”, where parts of your site are secured, and other parts are not.
To install an SSL plugin:
- On your, WordPress Admin Dashboard Click on “Plugins”
- Next click on “Add New”
- Go to “Search Plugin” text box and type in “SSL Plugin”. Search results will be displayed.
- When you see Really Simple SSL, Click “Install Now”
- After the installation process, click on “Activate” to activate the Plugin.
On activation, the plugin will check to see if your SSL certificate is enabled. If enabled, your website settings will use SSL/HTTPs.
Fix Mixed Content issues
Now, your website is using an SSL certificate, but may still serve some content from non-HTTPS URLs. When this happens, your browser will treat the entire website as not secure.
In such a case, you will likely not see the “Connection is Not Private” error. However, the green padlock that indicates a secure site will not be there. Instead, you would see an exclamation mark (!) there.
To fix this issue, you will need to install and activate the “SSL Insecure Content Fixer” Plugin on your site.
Follow these instructions.
1. On your, WordPress Admin Dashboard Click on “Plugins”
2. Next click on “Add New”
3. Go to “Search Plugin” textbox and type in “SSL Insecure Content Fixer”. Search results will be displayed.
4. Choose the desired displayed Plugin and Click “Install Now”
5. After the installation process, click on “Activate” to activate the Plugin.
The plugin will automatically perform some basic fixes on your website using the Simple fix level. You can select more comprehensive fix levels as needed by your website.
We hope learned how to fix your connection is not private on your WordPress site. Connection not private errors are typically caused by wrong configurations on your computer and/or the website’s SSL certificate. The methods covered in this article should help you fix this problem. If you need more information about SSL, you may read this guide: How to Move Your WordPress Website from HTTP to HTTPS.