How to Fix A Privacy Error In Chrome

Try these tips for the 'Your Connection is Not Private' error

PC laptop on wooden table with Chrome privacy error onscreen

Pixabay

How to Fix A Privacy Error in Chrome

You’ve just gotten a scary error from Chrome telling you that your connection isn’t private. Before you panic, there’s probably nothing wrong. You may have just tried to visit a site with an outdated SSL certificate. Your computer’s clock might be off, or you antivirus is blocking the connection. These basic steps will help you get to the bottom of the issue.

Is the Site's SSL Cert Valid?

By far, the most common reason why Chrome will give you an error saying that you connection isn’t private is an outdated SSL security certificate. Websites use SSL certificates to encrypt communication between your computer and the site. If you see HTTPS in the address bar next to the site’s URL, the connection is encrypted with SSL.

SSL certificates expire over time. This is for security purposes, but sometimes, a site admin lets a cert lapse before setting up a new one. Whenever that happens, you’re going to see the privacy error message.

There’s a really simple way to look at a site’s certificate in Chrome and see when it expired. That will let you know if an old SSL cert is the cause of your error.

  1. On the site where you’re receiving the error message, select Not Secure on the top of the window next to the URL.

    Click Not Secure to find out more
  2. A new box will open up with three options. Select Certificate to view information about the SSL certificate.

    View the SSL certificate info on Chrome
  3. Chrome will open a new box near the center of your screen. It contains important information about the SSL certificate attached to the site that you’re trying to access. Towards the bottom, locate Validity Period.

  4. Look for the Expires On date. If it’s earlier than the date you’re accessing the site, the SSL certificate is expired.

  5. There’s not much you can do about an expired SSL certificate. That’s the responsibility of the site owner. You can always contact them, and let them know that their sites SSL is expired.

Check Your Computer’s Clock

When a Chrome checks the expiration date of an SSL certificate, it compares it to the time on your computer’s clock. The next thing that you can try is as simple as checking to make sure the time on your computer is correct.

  1. Begin by looking at your clock. You can see it in the bottom right corner of your screen on Windows 10. Click on the date and time for more information.

    Windows 10 Clock
  2. If your system’s date and time don’t match the actual date and time, open up your system settings, either by searching or through the Start Menu.

    Windows 10 settings
  3. Select Time & Language near the bottom of the Settings window.

    Windows 10 Date and Time settings
  4. The window will shift to display possible date and time settings. Windows 10 will automatically set your clock over the Internet. As long as you’re connected, you should have the right time based on the configured timezone. Make sure that your timezone is correct first.

    If you’re not connected to the Internet, flip the Set time automatically switch off, and press Change to manually set your time.

  5. With your system time set correctly, return to the site, and see if the error appears again.

Check Your Firewall

As antivirus software becomes more advanced, it adds new features to protect against the latest threats. One such feature is a firewall that blocks sites not secured with SSL. While this is usually good, it can malfunction, causing sites to be blocked and you to receive an error from Chrome.

Different antivirus software will have the setting governing this feature in different places, but this general overview should help you locate and disable it.

  1. Open your antivirus program.

  2. Locate your antivirus settings. Open them.

    Malwarebytes settings on Windows 10
  3. Look for a tab or section with Protection in the name. Most programs will keep a separate section for different additional protection features. When you have it, select it.

  4. Under the Protection tab, look for a setting pertaining to the Web or SSL. That’s the most likely source of the conflict. Go ahead and disable that setting.

    Malwarebytes Web Protection settings
  5. Try accessing the site again. With any luck, things will go smoothly. If you’re still getting the error, there’s a good chance that there actually is something wrong with the site, and you shouldn’t be there.