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The Internet is a good thing in life as it brings to many all the best resources for learning, shopping, and working with mobile devices or computers. However, this comes at the risk of exposing you and your information to vulnerabilities hackers can exploit. Hackers can access your information and even steal from you, especially when they access your credit or debit card information. There is just too much information that attackers can collect when you access the Internet via insecure connections. This is why browsers like Google’s Chrome incorporate a feature that lets you know the website you are accessing is not safe. Such is the privacy error message. So what is Chrome’s privacy error message? This article highlights what the error is, why it appears, and how to solve it.
What Is the Chrome Privacy Error Message?
When attempting to access a particular website using Chrome, are you getting the error message, “Your connection is not private. Attackers might try to steal your information.”? It is frustrating when you encounter this message as you’re most likely in a hurry and need to complete some timely task. The error message is an alert system that the website is not safe.
The message means that accessing the website is not a good idea since your information could be stolen. With the level of internet fraud and cybercrime rising each day, such a message is scary and makes you doubt the safety of your information and your privacy. As soon as you receive thatmessage, it is in your best interest that you resolve it.
The problem appears if there is a problem with your secure sockets layer (SSL) connection and the Chrome browser cannot verify the SSL certificate of the website you are trying to access. SSL is a secure method for encrypting data from your computer and send to the server, helping you keep your private information safe while transmitting, and when the server is sending you feedback. With this SSL error, your internet connection prevents the Chrome browser from loading the requested website with a private and secure connection.
Why Does This Message Appear?
The privacy error is caused by the failure of the browser to verify the SSL certificate. SSL is deployed by websites to keep information secure and private. There are many causes of the error, including an expired SSL certificate, an unknown SSL certificate, or the connection between the server and your computer is not secured. There are three reasons why the errors occur:
- The SSL certificate is expired, wrongly set, or doesn’t belong to the requested domain, denoted (NET::ER_CERT_COMMON_NAME_INVALID).
- The SSL connection between your computer and the server is not secured.
- The SSL certificate isn’t from a trusted organization.
Untrusted organizations can easily install an SSL certificate. So if you get the privacy error, it could mean that the site owners installed a non-trusted certificate, and the organization is not reputable. Most internet browser, including Chrome, only recognize trusted SSLs.
How Do I Solve This Error?
There are different methods to fix the privacy error. These are explained below:
Check Date and Time
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An inaccurate date and time setting can be the primary cause of the error message. If you see that message on the screen, be sure to check your date and time. If it is not accurate, update the date and time in your device’s settings. After updating the date and time, the SSL error may be resolved.
Check Your Antivirus or Firewall
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Sometimes, antivirus software can block a strange SSL certificate or connection. The best way to fix this error is by turning off the https scan feature in your firewall or antivirus software. If you think that the antivirus or internet security has blocked the SSL connection, and there is nowhere you can turn off the https scanning feature, you can try disabling the software temporarily to test. If this rectifies the error, it is best to purchase different internet security or antivirus software. Other third-party firewall programs or the computer’s built-in firewall could also cause the privacy error, and you can rectify it by disabling them.
Disable the Error Message to Bypass the Connection
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If you do not want to see the error message again, you can turn it off in your Google Chrome browser. However, we do not recommend this since you will be exposed to hacker vulnerability. Here is how:
- 1Type “chrome://flags” in your Google Chrome browser address bar and press the Enter key.
- 2Find “Remember decisions to proceed through SSL errors for a specified length of time,” select the period you want to remember this selection.
- 3After choosing your preferred option, click “Process to (unsafe).” After doing this, there will be no more warnings until the period of time you selected to remember the setting elapses.
If the “chrome://flags” feature is not available, you can try other options to rectify the error.
Proceed to the Website with an Insecure Connection
Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay
If you cannot fix the privacy error because it is a website error, choose “Proceed to (unsafe).” Remember it is at your own risk since Chrome will not warn you again. Click on the “Advanced” link. This shows the “Proceed to website” link. Then click on “Proceed to (unsafe).”
Note that this is a temporary and not a permanent solution. Nothing you can do will make this error disappear, except bypassing or ignoring it and waiting for the webmaster or owner to repair it. Until then, we recommend that you provide no valuable information if asked as the site is unsafe.
Ignoring and Bypassing the SSL Error from Chrome Shortcut
Image by Simon Steinberger from Pixabay
Note this method is just a way of ignoring and bypassing the SSL error. It cannot be used to fix the issue permanently, but it can make all the warnings related to SSL errors in your browser disappear for good, at least until you opt to show the privacy error again. This is done as follows:
- 1On your PC, right-click on the Chrome shortcut and select “Properties.”
- 2On the shortcuts, ensure that the shortcut key is “None” and Run is specified as “Normal Window” and the Comment is “Access the Internet.”
Note that if the error displays the code, NET::ERR_CERT_COMMON_NAME_INVALID, it is a fault from the server side. All you can do here is bypass the error message by clicking “Proceed” or use the “ignore-certificate-errors–” tag on the shortcuts.
Fixing the Privacy Error in Android or iOS Devices
If the error message appears on a mobile device, such as an iOS or Android tablet or smartphone, it is caused by the same reasons discussed above. Just like on a PC, the first thing you should do is check to ensure that the date and time set on the device are correct. If they are inaccurate, updating them is the easiest way to rectify the privacy error. If you have recently installed any security software, we recommend that you disable it.
If you visit the same website with other browsers, such as Opera or Firefox, then something might be wrong with your Google Chrome browser. Try resolving the error by removing all history, cookies, and cached files on the browser.
To remove all the files, go to Settings > Privacy > Clear Browsing Data >, then choose what you want to remove and then click on the “Clear Browsing Data” button. Sometimes, this method can work on desktop versions too.
Last, note that resetting or reinstalling the Chrome browser could be helpful, but only if the above methods have not worked.
Privacy errors are frustrating to encounter when browsing. The error message appears if there is a problem with your SSL connection and the Chrome browser cannot verify the SSL certificate. Note that the error may be caused if the SSL certificate is expired, wrongly set, or doesn’t belong to the requested domain. Additionally, the privacy error could happen if the SSL connection between your computer and the server is not secured or when the certificate isn’t from a trusted organization. SSL certificates are easily created by fraudulent sites which implies they can easily be used as loopholes to steal your information.
There is a variety of methods to fix the error. As discussed, make sure that the date and time are accurate in both the PC and mobile device. If it is not accurate, update the date and time in your device’s settings. The antivirus software could block a strange SSL certificate or connection and this can be fixed by turning off the SSL scan feature in your firewall or antivirus software. Make sure you disable other third-party firewall programs or the built-in firewall.
You can also disable the error message to bypass the connection or proceed to the website with an insecure connection. Note that this is a temporary and not a permanent solution. If the error is on the server side, there is nothing you can do, except bypass or ignore it. Finally, resetting or reinstalling is your last option if the other methods do not work. We hope that this article has adequately addressed what the privacy error is, why it appears, and how to resolve it.