SSL Certificates: How to Fix the ‘Your Connection Is Not Private’ Error
Online security is paramount for website owners. In particular, it’s necessary to have a secure communication between users and websites. This is why having an SSL certificate is a must.
SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) certificates are digital files that encrypt the connection between a web server and the user’s browser. This ensures the user’s utmost security and privacy of sensitive information, such as login credentials and credit card details.
Sometimes, you may face some issues related to the SSL certificate. One of them is when you get routed to a page with a warning that your connection isn’t private. Read on to understand what the ‘Your Connection is Not Private’ error means and how to fix it.
What Is a ‘Your Connection Is Not Private’ Error
The ‘Your Connection Is Not Private’ is a warning message displayed by browsers when they detect an SSL issue with a website. It indicates that the website you are trying to access does not have a valid and secure SSL certificate.
There can be various reasons behind this error:
Expired Certificate: SSL certificates have an end date. If a website’s certificate has expired, the browser will display the error message.
Misconfigured Certificate: The error can happen if the certificate is not properly installed or if there are configuration mismatches.
Self-Signed Certificate: Self-signed certificates are not issued by trusted certificate authorities. Browsers often flag them as untrusted, thus the error message.
Mismatched Domain: The error occurs if the domain on the SSL certificate does not match the domain of the website being accessed.
Antivirus Software: Certain antivirus software or browser extensions can potentially disrupt the validation of SSL certificates, leading to the error.
DNS Cache: The Domain Name System (DNS) translates domain names into their corresponding IP addresses. DNS cache issues, such as storing outdated or incorrect information, can trigger the error message.
HTTP vs HTTPS: What’s the Difference?
HTTP and HTTPS are protocols utilised for data transfer between systems, such as computers and websites. While similar in purpose, the crucial distinction lies in website security.
Unlike HTTP, HTTPS is the secure version of HTTP. Its data transmission is encrypted using SSL/TLS certificates for enhanced security and privacy. Without this, your site is marked “Not Secure” to warn users against leaving their information.
|Protocol||Hypertext Transfer Protocol||Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure|
|Encryption||No encryption. Data transmitted in plain text.||Encrypted using SSL/TLS protocols. Data is transmitted securely.|
|Security||Not secure. Vulnerable to eavesdropping and data tampering.||Secure. Protects data against eavesdropping and tampering.|
|Data Integrity||No data integrity checks. Data can be modified without detection.||Ensures data integrity. Detects any unauthorised modification of data during transmission.|
|Authentication||No built-in authentication. Websites can’t prove their identity.||Provides authentication through SSL certificates. Websites can verify their identity using a trusted certificate authority.|
|Port||The default port is 80||The default port is 443|
|SEO Impact||No specific impact on search engine rankings.||Google considers HTTPS as a ranking signal. Websites using HTTPS have better SEO advantage.|
|Trust Indicators||Displays a ” Note Secure” label in browsers.||Displays a padlock icon and a “Secure” label.|
|Compatibility||Compatible with all web browsers.||Compatible with all modern web browsers. Some older browsers may not fully support HTTPS.|
|Usage||Suitable for non-sensitive information and simple websites.||Recommended for all websites, especially those handling sensitive data like login credentials and financial information.|
How to Troubleshoot a ‘Your Connection is Not Private’ Error
A. For users
1. Refresh the page
Users may not be aware of the intricate communication between their device and the server. Occasionally, these communications encounter errors. By refreshing the page, you can resolve various issues as the connections are re-established.
2. Clear browser cache
Browsers store data and content from previously visited websites in temporary storage called ‘cache’. Clearing the browser cache and reloading works similarly to refreshing the page. It restarts the website to a clean slate from the browser’s perspective, facilitating proper connections.
Alternatively, users can explore Incognito mode (Chrome), Private mode (Firefox and Safari), or InPrivate mode (Edge) to bypass cache access.
3. Reset the clock
SSL certificates can be incorrectly rejected due to an inaccurate device clock. A computer time reset might help. By rectifying any discrepancies, the device will no longer perceive the SSL certificate as expired or invalid.
5. Add ‘www’
Modify the domain name by including the “www” prefix or the appropriate domain prefix. This helps overcome Subject Alternative Name (SAN) errors.
6. Use a different browser or update the existing one
Outdated browsers may lack critical features like SNI, compromising encryption effectiveness. Update your browser or switch to a different one. Utilising the latest browser versions ensures optimal support for necessary encryption capabilities, bolstering your website security.
B. For website owners
1. Acquire a new SSL certificate
When the certificate expires, becomes outdated, or is self-signed, it’s necessary to get a new certificate from a reputable certificate authority. For example, Bigrock offers SSL certificates with Comodo trusted secure site seal.
2. Ensure SAN completion and inclusion of subdomains
It’s crucial to properly populate the SAN field with all legitimate variations of the domain. Additionally, subdomains such as blog.example.com in addition to www.example.com, should be explicitly listed in the certificate.
3. Manage backlinks for non-HTTPS websites
If you have a website that exclusively employs HTTP, accessing a URL via HTTPS can result in an error. This is because the browser will be retrieving a non-existent SSL certificate. To address this issue, update all backlinks to use HTTP only. It’s also recommended to set up redirects to your website’s HTTP version in case someone accesses it via HTTPS.
When to Ask your Web Hosting Provider for Help
The ‘Your Connection Is Not Private Error’ jeopardises your user’s security and data privacy. This can risk their login credentials, credit card numbers, and other personal information. The methods above can help you get around the issue and ensure your site’s secure connection.
But if you’re still unable to resolve the error, reach out to your hosting provider. They can help you identify the cause and guide you on the necessary fixes. They can also provide you with a new SSL certificate when necessary or assist you in configuring your server settings.
Bigrock offers SSL certificates that encrypt and authenticate your website’s identity. They’re compatible with all major browsers and offer up to 256-bit encryption. Keep your site secure and explore our SSL certificate plans today!