How to Fix a Connection-Is-Not Private Error

Reloading, clearing your cache, and other fixes

A message from your browser saying, “Your connection is not private,” “Your connection isn’t private,” or “Your connection is not secure" can appear anytime you navigate to a new site. This article will break down what these error messages mean and offer a number of tested solutions for how to fix the problem in all major browsers and help avoid it completely in the future.

Why Does My Browser Keep Saying My Connection Is Not Secure or Private?

These privacy error messages are preemptive alerts to warn you that the website you’re trying to visit hasn’t met certain security requirements and that it’s best that you not proceed. It is possible that the website is malicious or has been compromised since you last visited it, but it’s also likely that the browser is simply having trouble reading its SSL certificate or has read it and found it to be out of date or not strong enough. 

SSL certificates are required for websites running HTTPS, a more secure version of HTTP

How to Fix it When Your Connection Isn't Private

Here’s what you should do when confronted with a “Your connection isn’t secure” or “Your connection is not private” warning when using a web browser.

  1. Double-check the website address. It’s possible that you mistyped the URL and are actually trying to access a website that’s legitimately dangerous.

    An easy way to ensure that you’re visiting the correct website address is to click through to it from an associated Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook account.

  2. Reload the web page. A quick web page refresh can sometimes force the browser to recheck the site’s SSL certificate.

  3. Check your device’s time and date. Make sure that your computer or smart device’s clock and calendar are accurate, as incorrect time and date settings can cause SSL certificate conflicts. 

  4. Try a different internet connection. If you’re getting the private connection error on a website that you usually visit while using a new Wi-Fi connection such as one at a café or airport, it’s likely that the connection is causing the problem. If possible, try an alternative internet connection or switch to cellular. 

  5. Use your smartphone as a mobile hotspot. If no alternative Wi-Fi networks are available, create your own secure Wi-Fi network with your smartphone.

  6. Go to a non-SSL website. If you absolutely have to use a public Wi-Fi connection and you’re still having trouble connecting, go to an unsecured website like Never SSL to trigger the service login. You should then be able to browse freely.

  7. Clear the browser’s cache. Clearing the internet cache can provide the browser with a chance to rescan the safety of the website.

  8. Update your web browser. Your web browser may need to be updated to support modern internet security standards.

  9. Update your operating system. The web browser may be showing this security warning because your device’s operating system isn’t current and capable of protecting you from suspicious websites.

  10. Change web browsers. Trying the website in another browser, especially a privacy-focused browser such as Brave, could get it to load properly and bypass the private connection warning. 

    If you’re still using the discontinued Internet Explorer browser, it’s highly recommended that you switch to Microsoft Edge which offers a more secure and efficient browsing experience.

  11. Use the HTTPS Everywhere extension. HTTPS Everywhere is a free add-on for web browsers that automatically adds HTTPS encryption to websites using HTTP or a faulty and untrustworthy HTTPS connection. 

    HTTPS Everywhere comes built into the Brave and Tor web browsers and is available as an extension to Firefox, Chrome, Edge, and Opera.

  12. Perform an SSL security check. Use the free SSL Labs online tool to scan the website for any security risks. If the site fails several checks and receives a low rating, it’s best to avoid it and move on. If the site gets an A rating, though, it’s possible that it’s fairly safe and that the issue could be your software or security settings.

    You can usually proceed to a site via a link from within the “Connection is not private” error message details. However, it’s best not to unless you’re super confident that it’s safe to do so.

  13. Use a VPN. Using a VPN is one of the easiest and most effective ways to increase your security and privacy when connecting to the internet. Most people use a standalone VPN app or service on their device but some browsers, such as Opera, come with a free, built-in VPN that you can turn on whenever you want. 

  14. Change your DNS servers. Changing your DNS servers to 1.1.1.1. and 1.0.0.1. may fix some connection privacy error issues. 

  15. View a cached version of the website. Rather than view the live version of the website, which could be compromised or unsafe, you can load a saved copy of its content from a Google search result.

    An alternative method for viewing old versions of websites is to use the free Wayback Machine tool.

  16. Temporarily disable your antivirus software. Your antivirus software may be increasing your internet security to the point that it’s blocking some websites with a privacy connection warning.

    Only disable your device’s various security features if you’re confident that the website is completely safe.

  17. Temporarily turn off your VPN. VPNs can offer extra security and privacy, but they may also interfere with some apps and websites. Your VPN could be behind your connection privacy error message.

  18. Contact your web-hosting provider. Most domain and web hosting providers offer SSL certificate services that can both create and continually renew SSL certificates for all of your websites. If the website giving you the connection privacy warning is your own, reach out to your provider’s support team and ask about your options. They may even be able to check your site for other security issues as well. 

FAQ
  • How do I fix Chrome browser issues?

    A variety of problems can stop Chrome from working correctly. Fixes include closing unresponsive or resource-heavy tabs, updating the app, and disabling extensions.

  • How do I fix a 503 error in a browser?

    The 503 browser error means that a website's server is unavailable. There's nothing you can do to fix it, since the problem is on the website's end. You'll just need to wait for the server to come back online or for traffic to slow down.

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