Have you been encountering the “Your connection is not private” error on Chrome? This error message can be quite upsetting, as it will make your users feel insecure while navigating through your website, especially if it’s an eCommerce site.
Yet, don’t let the “Your connection is not private” Chrome error seem like the end of the world! There are several easy ways of fixing the issue on your WordPress website. This article will explain what this error means, its causes, and all the different ways to fix it.
What Does The “Your Connection Is Not Private” Error mean?
Any transfer of information from a web server to the web browser is not entirely secure when using HTTP (Hypertext Transfer Protocol). Such data can easily be stolen. To ensure a secure connection between the server and the browser, a majority of WordPress sites have adopted HTTPS (Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure) protocols.
To enhance WordPress security, HTTPS protocols use SSL (secure sockets layer) certificates to protect sensitive information from being stolen during transfer. Hence, whenever your browser cannot validate the SSL certificates issued by the website, you get the “Your connection is not private” error” message in Google Chrome to prevent you from visiting the untrusted website.
This standard SSL error appears on all modern browsers, yet the message is slightly different in each browser. Let’s take a look at a couple of examples:
1) In Google Chrome, the error message reads “Your connection is not private”:
2) In Mozilla Firefox, the error message reads “Your connection is not secure”:
Similarly, browsers like Microsoft Edge, Safari, Brave, among many others, will display similar messages.
Why “Your connection is not private” Chrome Error Occurs?
This error is peculiar in that it can appear without your having made any changes to your website. Before moving on to the methods of fixing this error, you should know why it appears in the first place.
Here are some of the most common scenarios in which the error appears:
- It may show the certificate as expired when a user’s computer clock is out of sync.
- A previously issued certificate by your website may be stored in the user’s browser.
- The private key sent by your website does not match that previously issued certificate. Hence the browser fails to validate the secure connection as it deems the privacy standards as outdated.
- If the SSL certificate on the website has expired.
All said and done, how then do you fix the ‘Your connection is not private’ Chrome error on your WordPress website? Read on to see how you can troubleshoot the error in a breeze.
Steps to Fix Your Connection Is Not Private Error
The origin of the error in Google Chrome is either due to client-side issues or problems with the website certificate. We suggest you start troubleshooting the error beginning from the first step listed below:
1. Try Force Reloading the Page
This first step (method) is the easiest trick you can apply and works based on the assumption that your browser may not have connected with the website’s certificate at an earlier attempt. Please close your browser, re-open it, and then try to revisit the website.
If you notice the error persists upon reloading the page, try force reloading the page so that the browser ends up ignoring the cached version of a page and loads the latest version instead.
# To force reload on Mac:
- Use Command + R keyboard shortcut.
# To force reload on Windows:
- CTRL + Reload button on Windows.
2. Check The Network Connection
Since improperly configured public Wi-Fi networks can run over HTTPS protocols, you must switch over to a private Wi-Fi network and try again, so that your information is secure. The switchover to a private Wi-Fi network is especially essential if you are inputting transaction-related information.
3. Check With Other Browser Apps
Suppose you face the “Your connection is not private” issue on Google Chrome. In that case, the next step is to eliminate the likelihood that this type of error is limited to Chrome. It would help if you tried visiting the website using another browser. If a similar error doesn’t appear on other browsers, then you should reinstall Google Chrome to tackle the issue.
If that doesn’t fix the issue, it’s time to move ahead to the next steps outlined below.
4. Sync Your Computer’s Date and Time Settings
It is crucial to have your computer’s date and time set accurately at all times. Your Chrome browser verifies the website’s SSL certificate’s validity based on your computer’s date and time.
Typically, your computer would automatically sync its date and time settings. However, having the incorrect date and time settings in your computer may make your browser consider a website’s SSL certificate invalid. Once you correct your machine’s date and time, the issue should get fixed.
# To set date and time on Windows computers:
Step 1 – Select ‘Adjust Date and Time settings’ by right-clicking on the taskbar and s.
Step 2 – The date and time settings section will appear in the Windows Settings app.
Step 3 – While your computer is connected to the internet, move the toggle named “Set time automatically” to the “on” position and make sure the date and time are correct on your computer.
# To set date and time on Mac computers:
Step 1 – Open ‘System Preferences’ from the Apple menu.
Step 2 – Click on the ‘Date & Time’ icon.
Step 3 – Switch to the Date & Time tab and select “Set date and time automatically” while your Mac is connected to the internet. This enables your date and time to be set according to an Apple Network Time Protocol (NTP) server.
5. Try Using Incognito Mode
When in Incognito mode, your Google Chrome browser will function privately. This implies it won’t remember your activity while browsing. Consequently, it won’t save your browsing history, cookies, site data, or any information you enter in forms.
# To access incognito mode:
Step 1 – Click the three dots located in the top right of the Google Chrome window, then select “New incognito window.”
Step 2 – Try to visit the website in incognito mode. If the error doesn’t appear and you’re able to visit the website in this mode, then there’s an issue with your browser’s cache and cookies. As the next best step, clearing your browser cache and cookies would resolve the “Your connection is not private” Chrome security warning (see method 6). Now, exit incognito mode by closing all incognito tabs.
6. Clear Your Browser’s Cache
Clearing your browser cache is essential if, until now, none of the above methods have resolved the security warning/error. This is because your browser has likely been loading files from an older version of your website, thereby causing the “Your connection is not private” error on Chrome.
# To clear browser cache, cookies, and history in Chrome:
Step 1 – Click on the three dots located in the top right of the Google Chrome window, then select “More tools”> “Clear browsing data.”
Step 2 – Once the “Clear browsing data” window opens, choose any time range or “All time” to delete the desired period’s cache, cookies, and history. Then check the boxes next to Browsing history, Cookies, other site data, and Cached images and files before clicking on “Clear data.”
Step 3 – Once done, revisit the website to check if the issue is resolved. Yet, if the error persists, then move on to method seven given below.
Additional tip: Rebooting your computer is an excellent way of deleting temporary cache that may be causing the error in the first place.
7. Disable Antivirus & VPN Apps
Temporarily turning off any Antivirus or VPN apps installed on your computer may resolve the issue. To do this, locate the antivirus program on your computer and turn off protection. Next, try visiting the website to see if the error is still there. In this way, you can determine whether such apps are blocking the SSL certificate and to cause the browser to show the error.
Once it’s confirmed that the Antivirus or VPN app is causing the problem, it would be a wise next step to get in touch with the respective app’s support team, causing the error.
8. Update Your OS
This step ensures your system is updated with the latest security technologies. It’s also an essential way of making sure the private information on your computer is kept safe.
9. Check The Expiration of Your SSL Certificate
SSL certificates have an expiry date. Once expired, they return the error when a user tries to visit the website. To check your certificate’s expiry date, click on the padlock icon located on the left of your website’s URL in the address bar, and then select the certificate option from the list. The SSL certificate details that appear in the new window will mention the expiration date.
In the event your SSL certificate expires, you should replace the expired certificate with a new one. The process of replacing the certificate depends on the certificate provider and hosting company. In most cases, you have to send a request to the hosting company for the same.
10. Get Your Certificate
Many times WordPress site hosting companies offer free SSL certificates with their plans. It doesn’t hurt to check with them to see which plans do so that you don’t have to launch your new eCommerce website, which returns users a “Your connection is not private” error.
Alternatively, you may consider purchasing an SSL certificate from your chosen host, or if the certificate has expired (see step 9 above), then a replacement certificate.
11. Troubleshoot Mixed Content Issues
Once your website has obtained a valid SSL certificate tested to have all its configuration settings in working order, you should ensure non-HTTPS URLs are not the cause of the issue.
An SSL certificate treats the entire website as insecure when there are non-HTTPS URLs. In such a case, the green padlock (an indication of a secure site) will be missing and replaced with an exclamation mark.
This is a standard encryption issue in place of the “Your connection is not private” error message. It’s advisable to install activate the “SSL Insecure Content Fixer” plugin on your WordPress website to fix this issue.
# To install and activate the “SSL Insecure Content Fixer” plugin on your WordPress website:
Step 1 – On the WordPress Admin Dashboard Click on “Plugins”> “Add New.”
Step 2 – Go to “Search Plugin” and type in “SSL Insecure Content Fixer.”
Step 3 – Choose it and click on “Install Now.”
Step 4 – Once done installing it, click on “Activate.”
We hope this article helped you learn how to fix the “Your connection is not private” error in WordPress. Besides the comprehensive list of methods explained above, there may be an extra tip or two you’d like to share from your own experience. If yes, please use the comments section to enlighten our readers further.