Sometimes, Google Chrome sends a worrying message saying that “Your Connection Is Not Private” and the hackers may be watching what you do and steal important data, like your passwords. While this does sound scary, making you drop the idea to browse that particular site. However, it does not mean you are about to be hacked! So what is this warning for, what does it mean, and what should you do to fix this? All of these questions will be answered in this article. So, keep reading until the end.
What Does “Your Connection Is Not Private” Mean?
This error means that Google Chrome was expecting a private connection; however, for some reason, the connection was not private. Generally, this error appears if there is something wrong with the website’s certificate.
Google Chrome is designed to use the HyperText Transfer Protocol (HTTP) to interact with your computer. When you browse on the Web normally, it is not favorable to carry out secure transactions. The reason being that the HTTP isn’t encrypted, so a hacker can easily steal your personal information, while you are browsing a website.
To provide secure browsing, websites use HyperText Transfer Protocol Secure (HTTPS) to interact with your computer. This allows the websites to encrypt the communications between you and the website to keep the digital predators away.
Businesses have to apply for a certificate to use HTTPS, and if there is something wrong with the certificate, the website won’t be able to use HTTPS. This is exactly the reason why Chrome warns you that the connection is not private.
What Can Go Wrong with Certificates?
Now that you know the reason this error is appearing, you should also look at what triggers the error to be able to fix it.
There are a few reasons for a certificate to become invalid.
- The website may be genuine; however, its certificate might have expired, as certification needs renewing now and then.
- Usually, if the website hosts do not behave according to the laid guidelines, the certificate of the website can be revoked, causing the error.
- Another reason could be hackers who try to interfere with the website’s certification. Hackers set up a proxy server between you and your destination website. This proxy server forges fake certificates to read your HTTPS data. However, Google Chrome catches this trick and warns you by displaying the error message.
How to Fix the “Your Connection Is Not Private” Error
You can try a few things to fix this issue at your end. You will likely be able to do so if there was a glitch during the connection process.
Refresh the Page
Sometimes, even a legitimate certificate gets flagged as suspicious. This happens because of jumbling data while you browse. So, refreshing the webpage would clear things up if this did occur.
Retry the Website in Incognito Mode
If there is something wrong with your computer’s cache, it will create a certificate conflict resulting in an error message.
To check for faulty caches, try the website in incognito mode. This will run the browser without using cache files. If you don’t get an error this time, then clear the cache in Chrome and try again.
Double-Check Your System’s Clock
The HTTPS certificates are valid for a certain time. If for some reason, your system’s clock is, before the start date or after the end date of the certificate, you will get a warning.
If your clock is not displaying the current time, consider changing it.
Leave Any Public Networks You’re Connected To
If you are using a public network to browse, you will likely see this error message. This is to save you from the high probability of attackers operating on a public network. So, it is a good idea to leave the network and use another method, like your mobile data or hotspot.
Exercise Caution and Continue
If nothing else works out, you can still browse the website. Click the “Advanced” tab, then on the link with your website’s URL.
Note that this error appeared for a reason; still, you are disregarding it by entering an insecure webpage.
Even if you decide to do so, never enter personal or confidential information on such a website. Even if, “Your Connection Is Not Private” error in Google Chrome, doesn’t always mean that you are under attack. But for those unfortunate moments, simply close the webpage to save your information from leaking.
Marshall Lyne is a self-professed security expert; he has been making the people aware of the security threats. His passion is to write about Cyber security, cryptography, malware, social engineering, internet and new media. He writes for Norton security products at norton.com/setup.