hyakkendana-hashigozake.com works with thousands of different WordPress sites on a daily basis, so when it comes to different types of errors, we’ve pretty much seen it all. From database connection errors to the white screen of death, ERR_CACHE_MISS, and browser/TLS related issues. Some of these for the everyday WordPress user can be downright frustrating and even scary at times. Depending on the type of error it could also mean downtime for your website, which means you’re losing money. Or it might just be that the browser on your computer needs fixing.

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Today we’re going to dive into the “your connection is not private” error and walk you through some ways to get things working again. Read more below about what causes this error and what you can do to prevent it in the future.

What is the Your Connection is Not Private Error?

The “your connection is not private” error only pertains to sites that are running over HTTPS (or should be running over HTTPS). When you visit a website, your browser sends a request to the server where the site is hosted. The browser then has to validate the certificate installed on the site to ensure it is up to current privacy standards. Other things that also take place include the TLS handshake, the certificate being checked against the certificate authority, and decryption of the certificate.

If the browser finds that the certificate isn’t valid, it will automatically try to prevent you from reaching the site. This feature is built into web browsers to protect the user. If the certificate isn’t set up correctly, this means data can’t be encrypted properly and therefore the site is unsafe to visit (especially those with logins or that process payment information). Instead of loading the site, it will deliver an error message, such as “your connection is not private.”

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Your Connection is Not Private Error Variations

There are quite a few different variations of this error depending upon which web browser you’re using, operating system, and even the configuration of the certificate on the servers. And while some of these errors sometimes mean slightly different things, a lot of times the troubleshooting steps are the same.

Google Chrome

In Google Chrome if there is an issue validating the certificate the error will show as “your connection is not private” (as seen below).

Attackers might be trying to steal your information from domain.com (for example, passwords, messages, or credit cards).


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Your connection is not private error in Chrome


This is also accompanied by an error code message which helps to try and pinpoint the exact issue. Below are just a couple of the most common error codes you might see in Google Chrome:

ERR_CERT_SYMANTEC_LEGACYNET::ERR_CERT_WEAK_SIGNATURE_ALGORITHMNET::ERR_CERTIFICATE_TRANSPARENCY_REQUIRED

Mozilla Firefox

In Mozilla Firefox the error message varies slightly, and instead of “your connection is not private” you’ll see “your connection is not secure” (as seen below).

The owner of domain.com has configured their website improperly. To protect your information from being stolen, Firefox has not connected to this website.


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Your connection is not secure warning in Firefox (Image source: Firefox Help)


Just like in Chrome, it’s accompanied by an error code message which helps to try and pinpoint the problem. Below are just a couple of the most common error codes you might see in Mozilla Firefox:

MOZILLA_PKIX_ERROR_ADDITIONAL_POLICY_CONSTRAINT_FAILEDSEC_ERROR_EXPIRED_ISSUER_CERTIFICATESEC_ERROR_EXPIRED_CERTIFICATESEC_ERROR_UNKNOWN_ISSUERMOZILLA_PKIX_ERROR_MITM_DETECTEDERROR_SELF_SIGNED_CERTSSL_ERROR_BAD_CERT_DOMAIN

Microsoft Edge

In Microsoft Edge, you will also see the error as “Your connection isn’t private.”

Attackers might be trying to steal your information from domain.com (for example, passwords, messages, or credit cards).


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Your connection is not private error in Edge


These are also accompanied by an error code message. Below are just a couple of the most common error codes:

NET::ERR_CERT_COMMON_NAME_INVALID (this occurs when the certificate does not match the domain)Error Code: 0DLG_FLAGS_INVALID_CADLG_FLAGS_SEC_CERT_CN_INVALID

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Your connection is not private error in Safari


How to Fix the Your Connection is Not Private Error

Sometimes you might not even know where to begin if you’re seeing a “your connections is not private” error. From our experience, these errors typically originate from two things: the first is a client-side issue (your browser, computer, OS), and the second is that there is an actual problem with the certificate on the website (expired, wrong domain, not trusted by the organization). So we’ll dive into a little of both.

Here are some recommendations and things to check to fix the error (sorted in order by most common reasons we see):

1. Try Reloading the Page

This might seem a little obvious to some, but one of the easiest and first things you should try when encountering a “your connection is not private” error is to simply close and re-open your browser and try loading the page again. It could be that the website owner is currently reissuing their SSL certificate or something was out of whack in your browser.

2. Manually Proceed (Unsafe)

Your second option is to simply manually proceed. However, we don’t ever recommend doing this unless you fully understand that nothing will be encrypted if you proceed. If you’re going to be entering in login credentials or entering payment details, by all means, skip to the next steps below.

We only include this option so we can explain the full ramifications of doing this. Seeing this error could very well mean that someone’s trying to fool you or steal any info you send to the server and you should typically close the site immediately. It is also possible that the website has been compromised and there is a malicious redirection. If you’re in a public place, never try to bypass this screen.

If you still want to proceed, there is usually a “Proceed to domain.com” link you can click at the bottom of the error screen. Depending on the browser this is sometimes hidden under the “Advanced” option. Note: If the website is using HSTS (HTTP Strict Transport Security) this option won’t be available as it means they have implemented an HTTP header which never allows non-HTTPS connections.


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Connection error proceed anyways


3. Are You in a Cafe or Airport?

This might sound odd, but cafes ☕ and airport Wi-Fi networks tend to be one of the most popular places that users see the “your connection is not private” error. Why? Because a lot of them are still not running everything over HTTPS, or if they are, it isn’t configured correctly. This usually pertains to the portal screen where you need to accept the terms and agreement to sign in. If you’re trying to connect to an HTTPS (secure) site before accepting the portal’s terms this error could pop up. Here are some easy steps to get around it.

Connect to the cafe or the airport’s Wi-Fi.Browse to a non-HTTPS site, such as http://www.weather.com.

Remember, whenever you’re using public Wi-Fi a VPN can help protect you even further by hiding your traffic. Here are a couple popular ones you might want to check out:

4. Check Your Computer’s Clock

Another very common reason that you might see the “your connection is not private” error is that your computer’s clock is messed up. Browsers rely on these to be correctly synced up to verify the SSL certificate. This can easily happen if you just purchased a new computer, especially laptops on Wi-Fi for the first time. They don’t always sync up automatically after your first login. Below are the steps to update the time on your computer. Note: This can also happen on mobile devices.

WindowsRight-click the time in the bottom right-hand task tray.Select “Adjust date/time.”


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Adjust date and time in Windows


Select “Set time automatically” and optionally “Set time zone automatically.” This will update according to one of Microsoft’s NTP servers. Double check the time in the bottom right-hand task tray to make sure it’s correct. If not, you can click on the “Change” button to manually select a time zone.

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Windows time zone


Close your browser and re-open it. Then try revisiting the website.MacFrom the Apple menu click on “System Preferences”Click the Date & Time icon. If the padlock appears at the bottom of the window you might need to click it and enter your administrator username and password.Select “Set date & time automatically.” This will update according to one of Apple’s NTP servers.Select the Time Zone tab. If it doesn’t determine your location automatically simply uncheck it so you can manually set it. On the map select your time zone region and city.Close your browser and re-open it. Then revisiting the website.

5. Try in Incognito Mode

Our next recommendation would usually be to clear your browser’s cache. However, that’s easier said than done for a lot of us.