How to Fix a Privacy Error in Chrome

Easy troubleshooting steps if the problem is on your end

Chrome is a popular, free, and reliable web browser developed by Google. Occasionally, you may encounter a message when accessing a web page in Chrome that says, "Your connection is not private." The message warns that attackers may be trying to steal your information. While this sounds alarming, there is likely nothing wrong.

Here's a look at what might cause this error and how to fix it to get back to browsing.

This isn't only a Chrome issue. You may receive variations on this error in other browsers, such as Firefox and Safari. While these errors may differ, many times, the troubleshooting steps are the same.

PC laptop on wooden table with Chrome privacy error onscreen
Pixabay

Causes for a Privacy Error in Chrome

Chrome returns this privacy error when it can't verify the SSL certificate of the site you're trying to reach. SSL is a secure data-encryption method that keeps transmitted data private and safe. Chrome won't load the website because it suspects it is unsafe.

Several things can cause this SSL error. The site could have an expired SSL certificate, one that wasn't set up correctly, or one that wasn't issued by a trusted organization. There may be issues with a Chrome extension, your antivirus software, or settings on your computer.

How to Fix a Privacy Error in Chrome

There's nothing you can do if the problem is on the site's end. However, if the problem comes from your computer or device, there are some easy fixes to try.

  1. See if the site's SSL certificate is expired. If a website's SSL certificate is expired or invalid, there's nothing you can do to fix a Chrome privacy error because it's the site's fault. You can, however, email the site owner to let them know.

  2. Reload the page. This is a quick and easy troubleshooting option. Close and reopen your Chrome browser and load the page again. Something may have been off with your browser, or the site owner might have been reissuing their SSL certificate.

  3. Public Wi-Fi network issues. When you use a public Wi-Fi network, such as in a restaurant or airport, you may receive a Chrome privacy error if you log in to a website before accepting the location's terms and agreement. Navigate to a non-SSL site such as www.weather.com, and the sign-in page should open. Try the website again and see if this solves the problem.

  4. Clear the browser cache and cookies. Clearing the browser cache and cookies is another quick and easy troubleshooting method that may solve the problem.

  5. Open the page in Incognito mode. On a PC or Mac computer, open the page in an Incognito window. If the page opens, it likely means a Chrome extension isn't working right. Disable the extension and open the page again normally.

  6. Check the computer's date and time. An incorrectly set date and time on your device can prevent Chrome from verifying the SSL certificate of the site you're visiting. This is because when Chrome checks the expiration date of an SSL certificate, it compares it to the time on the computer's clock.

  7. Disable antivirus software. 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 sometimes conflict with your network settings and mistakenly block some SSL certificates and connections. To see if this is the problem, temporarily disable the antivirus software's SSL scanning feature.

    Different antivirus software programs place the setting governing this feature in different places, but the process should be similar. Go to your antivirus software's Settings and look for features related to SSL or the web.

  8. Proceed to the website. If you feel confident that the error is on the part of the website, and the website is known and trusted, it's possible to access the site with an insecure connection. To do this, select the Advanced link at the bottom of the error box and then select Proceed to website. This won't solve the error message problem and should only be done if you're sure the website is safe.