It is a frustrating experience to encounter ‘this connection is not private’ error, be it on your own website or someone else’s. Luckily, you can fix the error by implementing the solutions we have listed in the section below.
In this article, we offer some answers to both website owners and visitors who encounter the ‘this connection is not private’ error while browsing a website. Naturally, the article is divided into two parts. Depending on what type of fix you need, jump to the dedicated section.
What is the ‘this connection is not private’ error? What causes it?
The ‘this connection is not private’ error appears when your browser does not trust the website you are visiting. It could be your own site or someone else’s. By showing you the error, the browser wants to discourage you from accessing the site because there is a real possibility that your personal information, like contact, password, and payment methods, will be compromised.
So why does the browser mistrust the site?
It’s mainly due to an SSL issue.
The SSL certificate is issued to a website to verify the identity of the site, meaning it’s proof that the website is who they say they are.
In the past, SSL certificates were only required on sites where visitors were purchasing or sharing important personal information. But today, it’s required for every website to have an SSL certificate installed because, in 2018, Google began flagging websites without an SSL certificate to encourage website owners to install them on their sites . Every other browser followed suit. From Google’s perspective, they are making the internet a safer place for their users. So when a website does not have an SSL certificate installed, Chrome shows the ‘this connection is not private’ error and prevents visitors from accessing the site.
It’s worth noting that different browsers show you different variations of the ‘this connection is not private’ error, but the fix is the same. Before we get into the fix, let’s look at some of the variations:
On Google Chrome, you are likely to find the following message:
Your connection is not private. Attackers might be trying to steal your information from domain.com (for example, passwords, messages, or credit cards). NET::ERR_CERT_AUTHORITY_INVALID
If Firefox can’t find a certificate on a website, it’ll throw the following warning:
The owner of domain.com has configured their website improperly. To protect your information from being stolen, Firefox has not connected to this website. ERROR_SELF_SIGNED_CERT
Unlike other browsers, Safari won’t show you error codes but you are likely to find this message:
This website may be impersonating “domain.com” to steal your personal or financial information. You should go back to the previous page.
The error message on Edge is similar to Chrome and it goes like this:
Your connection is not private. Attackers might be trying to steal your information from domain.com (for example, passwords, messages, or credit cards). DLG_FLAGS_SEC_CERT_CN_INVALID
Opera’s version of the warning is:
Attackers might be trying to steal your information from example.com (for example, passwords, messages, or credit cards). NET::ERR_CERT_WEAK_SIGNATURE_ALGORITHM
As you can see, most warnings are a variation of the ‘this connection is not private’ error. Many of you will notice that the error codes differ on your browser. No matter, you can still follow the solution below to fix it.
How to fix a ‘your connection is not private’ error
As we mentioned at the beginning, the solutions are divided into two parts. The first part is meant for those who are seeing ‘this connection is not private’ on their own website and the second part is for those who came across the error while browsing someone else’s site.
How to fix the error on your own site
If the error occurred on your website, then follow the steps below to fix it.
1. Install SSL certificate
Install an SSL certificate on your WordPress website if you haven’t done it already. It sends trust signals to browsers, which proves that your website is a legitimate business and not a scam. It also ensures that the site has taken steps to prevent cyber-criminals from exploiting its visitors.
2. Set up SSL certificate properly
If you have an SSL certificate installed on your website and you are still seeing the error, then most likely the certificate is not properly set up. After installing a certificate, it’s important to make sure that all the links on your website have moved from HTTP to HTTPS (i.e., from http://yoursite.com to https://yoursite.com). Often images and media links don’t automatically move to HTTPS after installation on large websites.
3. Update SSL certificate
Another reason why you could be seeing the ‘this connection is not private’ error even after installing an SSL certificate is that the certificate has expired. You should have received an email notification before the expiry date, but you may have missed that. The email should have instructions on how to update the certificate. If it doesn’t, then we suggest logging into your hosting account or wherever you bought the certificate from and talking to support.