Got “Your Connection Is Not Private” Error? Here’s What to Do

Find out what the “your connection is not private” error message means and how to fix it.
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If you get the “Your connection is not private” error while visiting a web page, don’t proceed. Websites that trigger this error lack certain security protocols — such as an encrypted connection — and can put your private data at risk. Learn why this error occurs and how to fix it in our full guide below.

In this article
What is the “Your connection is not private” error?
How to fix the “Your connection is not private” error
Should I proceed manually if I can’t fix the error?
How to fix “Your connection is not private” FAQ
Bottom line

What is the “Your connection is not private” error?

When you visit a web page, your web browser requests a website’s SSL certificate (Secure Sockets Layer). An SSL certificate error means the site couldn’t establish an encrypted connection with your browser. In other words, you can’t trust it to keep your personal or financial information safe.

The “Your connection is not private” error happens because your browser can’t detect a valid certificate (meaning it's expired or non-existent). We recommend assuming the website is unsafe and turning back in this scenario.

Here are the most common reasons why you see this error:

  • Missing or misconfigured SSL certificate: Your browser can’t establish a secure connection, and your private data could be in danger.
  • Expired SSL certificate: Expired SSL certificates won’t meet the current privacy standards nor provide adequate privacy protection.
  • Incorrect system date/time: If your device’s date and time settings are incorrect, your browser may have trouble verifying the expiration date of the SSL certificate.
  • Browser issues: Sometimes, problems with your browser cause the error. These issues include using an outdated browser and corrupt or outdated cookies and cache.
  • Network interference: Public Wi-Fi networks are famously insecure, so using one could trigger the error. Unsafe public Wi-Fi networks can also allow hackers to intercept and alter connections.

How to fix the “Your connection is not private” error

As long as the problem is not caused by an SSL connection error, you can likely fix it by doing the following:

Check your system’s date and time

Browsers use your device's date and time to verify the validity of the SSL certificate. If these settings are incorrect, your browser may conclude the certificate is expired. This is common with brand-new computers and mobile devices.

Follow these steps to check and correct your system’s date and time settings on Windows:

  1. Locate your clock, usually in the bottom right-hand corner of your desktop.
  2. Right-click your clock and select Adjust date/time
  3. Make sure that Set time automatically is toggled on. You may also enable Set time zone automatically.
  4. Scroll down and under the section Synchronize your clock, select Synch now
  5. Double-check your system clock to make sure the time and date are correct
  6. You can scroll down to manually select the right time zone if it is still incorrect.
  7. Close and reopen your browser, then try revisiting the website.

Here’s the process for macOS:

  1. Go to Apple menu > System Settings
  2. Go to General > Date & Time
  3. Enable Set time zone automatically using your current location

Reload the page

Reloading the page can solve the problem if your browser experiences a glitch. It can also help in rare situations where you catch the website owner in the middle of reissuing the certificate. To be thorough, close your browser, reopen it, and reload the webpage.

Check your Wi-Fi signal strength

A weak Wi-Fi signal can prevent a secure website connection, triggering the error. If you suspect weak Wi-Fi, you can speed up the signal by moving the router closer to your device. Alternatively, you can ensure the best connection by using an Ethernet cable.

Switch to Incognito mode

Incognito mode allows you to browse without the influence of corrupt or expired cached data and cookies. This mode also disables browser extensions. If Incognito mode fixes the error, clear your cookies and browser cache and check your browser extensions.

Update your browser

Browser updates often include the latest security protocols. An outdated web browser is susceptible to exploits and could also cause the “Your connection is not private” error.

To update your Chrome browser, do the following:

  1. Open Chrome on your device
  2. Click the menu button at the top right, symbolized by three vertical dots.
  3. Select Help > About Google Chrome. In the window that opens, select Update Google Chrome (if you can’t find this button, you’re using Chrome’s latest version, as in the image below).

Screenshot showing where to find the help section

Screenshot of Chrome help page

Update your operating system

If you’re on an outdated operating system (OS), your browser can fail to authenticate updated websites and SSL certificates. Furthermore, OS updates often come with important security patches.

Adjust your antivirus settings

Your antivirus program or firewall can interfere with your browser’s security protocols or block specific SSL certificates or connections. If your antivirus has an “SSL Scan” feature, try temporarily disabling it and then revisit the website. Otherwise, temporarily disable your antivirus and firewall to ensure they don’t conflict with your network settings. Remember to turn them back on back on when you’re done testing.

Should I proceed manually if I can’t fix the error?

We never recommend proceeding manually into an unsafe connection. It can expose your system to data breaches, leaks, and even identity theft. If you must enter the website, use a strong antivirus and firewall. Additionally, consider protecting yourself further with a good VPN.

If you are interested in only the best VPNs, we recommend looking at NordVPN, Surfshark, and ExpressVPN.

  • NordVPN: NordVPN is ideal for general users. It’s feature rich and offers 6,200+ servers in 111 countries. It also offers the best security setup on the market and a fast proprietary protocol called NordLynx.

    Get NordVPN | Read NordVPN Review

  • Surfshark: Surfshark supports unlimited simultaneous connections and can secure all the devices in your household. It also provides excellent connection speeds and servers in 100 countries. Finally, you can bundle it with a proprietary antivirus program.

    Get Surfshark | Read Surfshark Review

  • ExpressVPN: With servers in 105 countries and support for up to eight connected devices, ExpressVPN leverages its proprietary Lightway protocol to deliver some of the fastest VPN speeds on the market. If you want to secure all the devices connected to your Wi-Fi, ExpressVPN also has a proprietary VPN router.

    Get ExpressVPN | Read ExpressVPN Review

What are the risks of ignoring the “Your connection is not private” error?

Visiting a website that can’t guarantee a secure connection is always dangerous. Here are some of the risks involved:

  • Data theft: Browsers store a lot of info, including data about your online banking accounts. If a hacker intercepts your unsecured connection, they can simply steal and use this information for personal gain.
  • Malware infection: If the site you’re visiting is actively malicious, you risk a malware infection. When hackers infect your system, they can lock you out and demand ransom, steal your private data, and much more.
  • Phishing attacks: Hackers can use your private info to craft convincing phishing scams. They can target you or your family and friends and steal anything from money to your home.

How to fix “Your connection is not private” FAQ


Why am I seeing the “Your connection is not private” error?

You see this error because your browser can’t verify the SSL certificate of the web server. Sometimes the certificate is simply missing, expired, or misconfigured. However, the error can also be related to your browser or operating system.


Is it safe to ignore the ”Your connection is not private” error?

No, it is never safe to ignore this warning. We never recommend manually entering a website that issues this error message, as your private data could be at risk.


How can I fix the “Your connection is not private” error on my device?

Fixes for this error include reloading the page, updating your browser, updating your OS, clearing your cookies and cache, or revisiting the page using your browser’s incognito or private mode. Make sure your device’s date and time settings are correct. You can also temporarily disable your antivirus’ SSL scanner feature — or your antivirus altogether — before attempting to enter.


What does it mean if I’m seeing this error across all websites?

This may be the result of an outdated OS or browser. Be sure to update your OS, browser, and all its extensions (or simply disable them for testing). If you’re still getting this error across all websites, your router may be compromised. Follow your router’s manual to reset it to factory settings and then update it.

Bottom line

If you get the “Your connection is not private” error when visiting a website, you should leave and return with more information. Ensure your device’s date and time are correct and that you’re using the latest OS and browser versions. Clear your browser’s cache and cookies, try visiting the website in incognito/private mode, or temporarily disable your antivirus and firewall before attempting to enter.

If the above steps don’t work, bypassing the warning manually can put your private data at risk. If you must visit the website, use a good VPN to encrypt your connection. If you need help choosing the right service, check out our guide to the best VPNs.

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Author Details
Juliana Kenny is a seasoned writer with over a decade of experience in cybersecurity topics. She holds a B.A. in English with a concentration in Irish Literature, a B.A. in French, and a minor in Art History. Since 2010, she has explored the dynamic intersection of technology and security, specializing in endpoint security, cloud security, and networking technologies like secure access service edge (SASE).