Any person around the world that browses the internet is deeply concerned about their online data. Whether it is their login credentials, credit card details or personal images stored in a cloud, it is essential to keep this data secure.
You have a better chance of doing that if the websites you browse are secure. There are multiple ways to tell a harmful website from a secure one. The simplest way to do this is check for the lock symbol that precedes the website URL.
If you get the “Your connection is not secure” warning, then there might be some security concerns and you should be careful. In this post we explore this error and how can you fix it.
What does “Your connection is not secure” error mean?
This error is usually associated with the Firefox browser. However, Chrome or other browsers can also experience similar problems.
Basically, what this error does is stop users from accessing certain websites as they are deemed unsafe by the browser.
It can pop-up unexpectedly on a site even if you visited that site a few hours before and can be a nuisance. However, ignoring the error may put your online information at risk.
“Your connection is not secure” error can become frustrating when it starts blocking legitimate websites such as Facebook, Youtube or Twitter.
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Why does it occur?
When you are browsing the internet, there is a flow of vital information from one place to another. This is the place that hackers exploit. They jam the flow of information to steal data.
There are two ways that the computer uses to counter them. One of the ways is encryption and the other is antivirus software.
If your antivirus detects something suspicious on a website, it warns you from entering it by displaying the “Your connection is not secure” error. If you don’t have encryption or antivirus software, your device will be a goldmine for hackers.
Sites that pop-up this error might affect your device with malware or other unsafe content. Generally, it is good practice to avoid sites with this error especially if they are unknown.
However, if you start experiencing this error on legitimate websites, it might be caused due to the following issues:
- Time and Date setting being incorrect
- False SSL certificate name
- Wrong SSL certificate
- Malicious content present on the domain
- Unauthorised SSL certificate provider
- Third-party antivirus or Windows Firewall blocking the site
- The browser is damaged or outdated.
What is an SSL Connection Error?
An Secure Sockets Layer or SSL certificate allows for a secure connection between a web server and the browser. In other words, an SSL certificate allows the website to make a secure HTTPS connection in the browser.
Here HTTPS acts as the security barrier and is responsive for allowing safe connection to take place so that user data can be protected.
When an SSL error occurs, HTTPS can find no safe way for your browser to open what you have requested. This is when the browser alerts that the connection is not secure and warns the user from entering the website.
An SSL connection error takes place due to the following issues:
- The SSL certificate might be missing or has expired
- Your browser might not be updated to the latest version
- Your antivirus settings might not be up to date
- Date and time settings are off
- Web server issues
In the case of a server problem, you will have to wait for the server owner to fix the issue.
Methods for fixing “Your connection is not secure” error
Clearing browser history
One of the easiest ways that usually fixes this error is clearing your browser history. Here is a step by step guide on how you can do that. Note that these steps might not apply to your particular browser but they are similar for the majority of internet browsers.
We will be using Firefox for this example as this error commonly occurs on Firefox. Here are the steps.
- Open Firefox and open the Menu by clicking on the three horizontal lines at the top right-hand corner.
- Click on History and then Clear browsing data.
- Select All and click the Clear button.
Here are some additional steps to modify your security settings as well.
- Open Settings and locate the Change Proxy section.
- Open Security and Privacy tab and select Medium level.
- Finally, restart your web browser and try to open the websites that previously showed the error.
Excluding SSL protocol scanning
If clearing your browser history did not work, you can try excluding SSL protocol scanning from your antivirus software settings. Here are the steps.
- Open your antivirus software and open Set up window;
- Navigate to the Advanced settings → Protocol filtering → SSL → Do not scan SSL protocol.
While this is not a definitive solution to the error, it will certainly let you know if the problem was triggered due to encrypted data conflict with the antivirus.
If it does turn out to be the cause then we would recommend you clear your browsing history and try again.
Moreover, also look to update your browser, operating system and the antivirus. As a common observation, updating these things to their latest version solves the error in the majority of cases.
Exporting and Importing SSL certificates
Another method that you can try is refreshing your SSL certificate. This is done by exporting it to a location on your device and importing it right back into your browser. Here is how it’s done.
- Start by clicking the Padlock Icon that precedes the URL address.
- Click the Export feature button and select a location in your PC where the SSL certificate will be saved.
- Then import the SSL certificate by clicking on it and selecting Options.
- Click Advanced -> View certificate -> Import.
- Restart your browser and check if the error has been fixed.
Enabling system restore
The methods listed above will solve this error for the majority of people. However, if you are still facing the “Your connection is not secure” error or it showed up unexpectedly, you can restore your system to a previous date or time using system restore.
System restore is often the last resort to a problem. While it may fix the problem, it will undo any recent changes that you opted to make and that you might need.
Here is a great article that will walk you through the entire process of restoring your system.
Check for Malware
There are cases where malicious applications change your system settings and cause the “Your connection is not secure” error.
The best way to fix this is installing anti-malware software and scanning your PC for suspicious software or malware. Removing this software will fix the problem.
Malwarebytes is a great anti-malware software to do this. Just install it, run it as an administrator, scan your PC and remove all infected files.
Problem still not fixed?
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