Are you seeing the “Your connection is not private” error on your WordPress site?
This error appears when the browser cannot safely connect with your website so it stops the visitor from accessing it. If you don’t resolve it soon, you’re sure to lose website traffic and sales.
Now there are many reasons why you’ll see the “Your connection is not private” error on your site. You may think it can be too complex to resolve this but that is not the case at all.
In this post, we’ll explain why you’re seeing this error and walk you through the step you need to take to fix it.
What is “Your Connection is Not Private” Error
“Your connection is not private” error appears because of the built-in feature in web browsers. When you enter a website URL on your browser, it sends a request to the website server and checks if the SSL certificate of the site is valid.
If it fails to verify the certificate or detects any issues with the connection, it shows the error message on your screen. You’ll also see the Not Secure alert on the address bar of your browser.
So, you need to make sure that you have a valid SSL certificate for your website to avoid this issue.
If you don’t have an SSL certificate installed, see our guide: 8 Best Websites to Buy SSL Certificates in 2022. Web hosts like Bluehost offer a free SSL certificate along with a domain name for the first year of your hosting plan.
Aside from an invalid SSL, there are various reasons that may cause the Your connection is not private error to appear. Your visitors may see this error because of issues in their browser or system settings.
Sometimes the error appears if the user’s device clock is out of sync or they are using a public unsecured WiFi network.
The error message will slightly differ depending on the browser. Google Chrome shows the error message “Your connection is not private” like in the screenshot above.
Whereas, the Mozilla Firefox browser will show this error as “Your connection is not secure”.
Microsoft Edge browser will show the error message as “Your connection isn’t private” or “This site isn’t secure”.
Other browsers like Safari and Brave will also display similar error messages.
Now, we’ll show you how to fix the “Your connection is not private” error from both the visitors’ end and the website owner’s end.
Here are the methods we are going to use to fix the error, you can jump into any section that you want to try out first.
- Reload the Page
- Clear Browser Cache and History
- Try Incognito Mode
- Use Different Browsers
- Check Your Computer’s Clock
- Disable Antivirus and VPN
- Clear Website Cache
- Check SSL Certificate Expiry Date
- Check Certificate Domain Name
- Update Google Search Console
- Solve Mixed Content Issues
- Run an SSL Server Test
Best Ways to Fix “Your Connection is Not Private” Error
There are many methods for resolving this error on your browser. We’ll start with the easiest steps and move along the list.
1. Reload the Page
The simplest and easiest way to fix the “Your connection is not private” error is to reload the webpage. Click on the reload arrow next to the address bar on the browser.
Or, you can use the keyboard shortcuts Command + R on Mac and CTRL + R on Windows.
Also, you can simply close the browser and reopen it. Then, you can visit the site again to see if the error appears or not.
There could be some problems with your browser or the website owner can be reissuing their SSL certificate at the moment. Reloading the page will display the latest version of the page discarding the cached version.
2. Clear Browser Cache and Cookies
When you visit a website, your browser will store the data of the pages loaded in its cache. It is the temporary storage or disk space used to serve web pages faster.
So there is a high chance that your browser will show the old data when you try to open the website you’ve already visited before. By clearing the cache and cookies of your browser, you can reset the settings and view the newer version of the website.
We’ll show you how to clear the browser cache in Google Chrome. Other web browsers will also have similar steps.
If you want details on this, you can check this guide from WPBeginner: How to Clear Your Browser Cache in All Major Browsers.
Note: You’ll be logged out of all the websites and sessions so you’ll have to re-enter your credentials to log back in.
First, open your Chrome browser and click on the three dots menu in the top right corner. Then, you’ll open the More Tools » Clear Browsing Data tab.
On the next screen, you’ll see the Clear browsing data settings. Here, check the “Cookies and other site data” and “Cached images and files” options. Also, select the Time Range as All time.
In the end, hit the Clear data button to delete all the browser cache and cookies. You can visit the website once again with a fresh connection and see if the error has been resolved.
3. Try Incognito Mode
If you want to fix the “Your connection is not private” error without clearing your browser cache, then, you can use the Incognito Mode. When you open a website in an incognito or private window, the browser will fetch new data instead of the cached pages.
This way you can test whether it is the browser cache that is causing the error to appear or not.
To go incognito, open the three dots menu from the top-right corner of your browser and click on the New Incognito Window button.
Then, an incognito window will open. You can see that it’s marked “incognito” on the right side.
In this browser window, you can enter the URL of the website you want to visit. If the error message doesn’t appear, you can be sure the problem is caused by a browser caching issue. Simply clear your cache to resolve the error.
4. Use Different Browsers
There are instances where website issues are limited to a specific browser. So you may want to check if the error message shows when you try to access the site with different web browsers.
For instance, if you’re using Google Chrome, you can try Mozilla Firefox, Internet Explorer, Brave, Safari, Edge, or Opera.
If the error message doesn’t appear in other browsers, then you can reinstall your browser and the issue should be resolved.
You can try out other methods in the list below if you’re still seeing the error.
5. Check Your Computer’s Clock
Usually, your computer’s date and time are synced automatically. But, if you have custom settings and the date and time are incorrect, this may cause the “Your connection is not private” error.
Your browser relies on the computer’s date and time settings to check the validity of a website’s SSL certificate. So if the date and time are wrong on a user’s computer, then your website SSL certificate can appear invalid to the browser.
To check the date and time, go to the Settings page and click on the Time & Language » Date & Time tab in Windows.
For Mac OS users, you’ll find these settings under System Preferences » Date & Time.
Here, you need to enable the Set time automatically option.
After you make the changes, you can refresh your browser and try visiting the site again.
6. Disable Antivirus and VPN
If you have any antivirus programs or VPN apps running on your computer, you may want to disable them temporarily. These services can sometimes block SSL certificates of your website which causes the connection error to appear.
Once you find that your antivirus or VPN service is causing the issue, then you can contact their support team for troubleshooting.
If you’re still seeing the error, then you’ll have to check your website and the SSL certificate for any inaccurate data or issues. We’ll show you how to do that in the next steps.
7. Clear website cache
If you are the website owner, you can try clearing your website’s cache from the server end.
Just like how a browser stores cached pages for the user, your website server also has a cache.
However, unless you have indepth technical knowledge, you won’t be able to clear this on your own. Thankfully, you’ll find tons of caching plugins that will clean the cache of your WordPress site in just one click.
You can check this helpful guide on IsItWP: How to Clear Cache in WordPress.
8. Check SSL Certificate Expiry Date
One of the main reasons that the browser shows the “Your connection is not private” error is an invalid SSL certificate. SSL certificates are issued for a certain period of time and after that period ends, they will expire.
To easily check if your website SSL certificate is valid or not, click on the padlock icon next to the website URL on the browser. Then, click on the Connection is secure option from the menu.
Next, you can see the SSL status on the same menu. To view the details, click on the Certificate is valid option.
Now, you’ll see all the details of your SSL certificate including the expiration date in a popup window.
Most of the domain registrars and SSL certificate providers will send you notifications when your certificate is about to expire.
Many hosting providers like Bluehost offer a free SSL certificate that has scripts in place that automatically renew when it expires.
However, you may miss the notifications and the automated scripts may fail. In this case, you can simply renew your SSL certificate to fix the error on your site.
9. Check Certificate Domain Name
The error may also appear if there is an incorrect domain name added to your SSL certificate. This can happen when you migrate your site to a new domain, make major changes to your site, or install an SSL certificate.
To check the domain name details, you can contact your web host and ask for the information. Or, you can check the SSL certificate yourself from your web hosting dashboard.
If you don’t find it there, you can log into your hosting account’s cPanel and open the SSL/TLS section.
Then, click on the Generate, view, upload, or delete SSL certificates option. On the next page, you’ll see all the details and check the primary domain name.
10. Update Google Search Console Data
When you install an SSL certificate for your website, you need to inform Google about the new changes. You can do this by going to your Google Search Console account and changing the property name to “https://”.
If you don’t inform Google, it will continue to collect data from the previous HTTP version of your website. This causes the “Your connection is not private” error to appear when visiting your site.
Now, we’ll show you how to update your site to HTTPS in Google Search Console and Google Analytics.
If you don’t have a Google Search Console account and a Google Analytics account, then you’ll have to sign up for an account first. Then, you can add your property to your accounts.
To learn more, you can check this step-by-step guide by IsItWP: How to Add Google Analytics to WordPress.
On your account dashboard, navigate to the Sitemaps tab from the left menu panel and resubmit your sitemap with the updated HTTPS version.
If you’ve added any disavow link files on Search Console, open the Google Disavow Tool and click on the HTTP version of your site.
Now, you need to download the file and upload it to the new profile. To avoid any conflicts, you can delete the old profile permanently.
To update the HTTPS in Google Analytics, open your account dashboard and go to Admin » Property Settings » Property Name option. Here, use the dropdown menu and select ‘https://’.
Repeat this step under the View Settings tab. Go to the Website’s URL section and select ‘https://’.
Now that you’ve learned how to successfully move your website from HTTP to HTTPS, you can easily resolve the connection error.
11. Solve Mixed Content Issues
Even if you move your site from HTTP to HTTPS, there are chances that a few old web pages will remain on the HTTP URLs. This can mix up your website content and causes the browsers to display these pages as not secure.
SSL Insecure Content Fixer is a plugin that lets you fix the mixed content issue on your WordPress site with just a click of a button. This should resolve the not secure error on the browser.
For detailed instructions on this, you can check the guide from WPBeginner: How to Fix Mixed Content Error in WordPress.
12. Run an SSL Server Test
The last step for fixing the “Your connection is not secure” error is to check if all your website configuration settings are working properly.
For this, you can use the SSL server test by Qualys. This test allows you to view the complete SSL setup of your website.
All you need to do is enter your domain name on the Hostname search field and click on Submit.
Then, you’ll be able to check all the data such as TLS protocol, cross-browser testing, SSL/HTTPS setup checks, and more. The scanner also shows you detailed reports about each test and any errors.
And that’s all! We have listed the easiest steps you can follow to solve the “Your connection is not private” error on both the visitors’ end and the site owner’s end.
As the website owner, you need to make sure that your website security is not compromised. And you need to start from the basics for this.
You’ll need a reliable web host like Bluehost, HostGator, or SiteGround. These hosting companies provide advanced security tools and services to protect your site from hackers and other malicious attacks.
We hope you found this guide helpful for fixing the error message for your site.
Next, we have handpicked these resources for you:
- Best Websites to Buy SSL Certificates
- How to Check a Domain’s History Before Buying it
- Domain Name Privacy: Why You Need It and Where to Buy
These posts will help you find the best places to buy an SSL certificate for your website and check the history of a domain name before you buy it. The last one will help you protect your personal information in the public domain database.