You probably visit a large number of different websites while using the internet. Chrome gives you an optimal experience in finding what you’re looking for. Also, it usually doesn’t face any issues while trying to reach a site. But sometimes, users report that their browsers show a privacy error while trying to reach a website.
Now, this is an issue for the visitors and the owners of the website alike. So, both of them must take the necessary steps to fix this issue. But, the problem is usually from only one of these two sides. Regardless, we will help you know more about this issue through the upcoming information and provide solutions.
What is a Privacy Error?
You face a privacy error while trying to enter a certain website. As the name suggests, it has something to do with the privacy of the data on the site. So, that makes it risky for you to continue. Not only that, but it means the site owners’ data is at risk as well.
Now, that might mean significant damage to them. Also, in their case, this issue indicates a problem with the SSL Certificate of the site. Regardless, there are various possible causes behind this issue. To solve it effectively, you must know more about them first.
Can you continue to a site after it shows this error?
There are various aspects of this issue that you might be curious about. Many users often wonder whether they can open the site despite a privacy error. In case you’re wondering the same — Yes, you can still open it. For that, you’ll see an Advanced option at the bottom left on the Chrome browser. Click on it and then opt to continue to the insecure site.
But, is it safe to do that? In case you’re wondering, it’s not always risky but isn’t always safe either. So, you must proceed at our own risk. Also, it’s much better to solve this issue rather than keep taking the risk. After all, it’s your data that’s in danger in such situations.
What Causes this Issue for Visitors and How can they fix it?
As mentioned before, there is a wide range of reasons why you face this error. Not only that, but they’re different for owners of the website and the visitors. Both of them have a separate set of causes that they need to focus on.
Are you a visitor to the site? In that case, here are the causes you must consider:
1. Cache, Cookies, and Browsing History
Your browser saves a wide range of data from your online activities daily. So, there’s no wonder that it takes up so much memory and storage space. Now, these saved data might sometimes cause issues in your browser. And, this includes problems such as privacy errors.
Your browser may save a large amount of cache data. In case you’re wondering, these simply contain certain data from the sites that you visit. These help you to load those websites faster when you visit them again. But, as it happens, web pages keep updating and changing. So, the data in the newer version isn’t the same as that saved in the cache.
What happens in such cases? Chrome uses the old cache to access the site and faces an issue in reaching it. So, in such cases, there’s no use keeping the cache in your device. Delete them right away to clear some space, as well as fix the privacy error. Also, this is usually an effective method, so you must try it first.
Even though cookies don’t always cause issues, they may do so in some cases. They contain information regarding your online activities. Moreover, some sites can’t work on your browser unless you accept their cookies. But, in case of a privacy error, you must consider deleting them. So, go to your browser’s Settings page and opt for deleting cookies along with the cache. That often does the trick in many cases.
You probably have quite a lot of browsing history in your Chrome. Especially so, in case you see the privacy error while trying to access a website. In such situations, you must clear all your browsing history. This, apart from removing the cookies and cache, will help you fix the error effectively.
2. Browse in Incognito Mode
As you can see, the above-mentioned cause is quite a complicated one. But, the solution is quite a simple one. What if you can find an even simpler solution? In case you’re wondering, you can find one indeed. As you know, browser history, cache, and cookies are all information regarding your past activities. Moreover, each of them can cause issues in reaching a site.
Now, rather than dealing with them, you can simply switch to Incognito Mode. None of the data regarding your online activities matters in this setting. After all, it enables you to browse through the web anonymously. So, this method can often fix the issue in your case. In case it doesn’t, then there are some other causes that you should consider.
3. The network you’re using isn’t safe
People commonly use public networks, which are increasingly available nowadays. They generally provide the optimal speed and security, but not in all cases. Some of them aren’t as secure as others and are quite risky. So, you might want to find a different network rather than connect to them.
Otherwise, Chrome might keep showing the privacy error until you do that. However, it’s understandable if you can’t find another network right away. In such cases, there’s an alternative solution for you.
Use a VPN while connecting to the network
People are increasingly using VPNs to connect to the internet. After all, they help users to surf the web while ensuring their privacy. It does that by changing your IP address to one that’s from a different location. So, in case you’re wondering, it can indeed fix the privacy error in some cases.
4. Incorrect date and time settings
Check the time on your device’s system and make sure it matches that of the browser. Do you see a mismatch? If yes, then you’ve found the cause behind the privacy error. Change the settings to the right time, and that might solve the issue. This cause is not as common as the others, but it’s still one of them after all.
Did you find your device’s system showing the wrong time? If yes, then that might indicate the presence of viruses in your computer. That’s unrelated to the error we’re discussing, but you should run a virus scan immediately.
5. The Firewall or antivirus software
In case you didn’t know, you might see the privacy error due to your firewall or antivirus. After all, they’re responsible for your device’s security. Also, the reliable ones among them take their tasks very seriously. So, they might block any website or file that they find suspicious.
What do you do in such cases? As you probably know, you can disable both programs to fix the issue. But, that’s not the only way to fix this error. Instead, you can simply disable them for a while and then restart them. Apart from that, you can also move the blocked sites to the white list. That should fix any trouble associated with your firewall and antivirus.
What Causes this Error from the Side of the Website Owners and What are its Solutions?
As mentioned before, this issue is related to the SSL certificate for the owners. So they should make sure whether something is wrong with it. Also, they must try to fix this issue as soon as possible. The above-mentioned solutions are, of course, not meant for doing wonders.
In case you’re facing this issue on your web page, consider the following causes behind it:
1. The certificate has expired
The SSL certificate contains your site’s data as well as protects it using encryption. But, as you probably know, it doesn’t last forever after you get it once. Instead, it has a certain validity period and expires after that. In such a case, you simply need to renew it to continue. That will fix the privacy error on your website and protect its reputation.
Usually, this certificate comes with a one-year validity period. So, how do you renew it after that period is over? For that, you must generate a Certificate Signing Request first. After that, select your certificate and opt for a validity period. Then, enter the necessary information and proceed to make the payment.
Once you’re done, your website shouldn’t show the certificate error anymore. Also, make sure to renew it at the right time to prevent any further issues.
2. The certificate hasn’t become valid yet
In many cases, you might end up deploying a certificate that’s yet to become valid. Or, the person you entrusted with the task might have made that mistake. In case you didn’t know, SSL certificates aren’t valid whenever you get them. But, they become so only after a certain period. So, if you deploy it before that, it’ll cause an error on your web page.
Therefore, you must make sure not to use a certificate until it becomes valid. If there’s someone else responsible for that, instruct them to proceed carefully. After all, preventing this error is always the best thing to do.
3. The certificate has the wrong validity period
The earlier SSL certificates used by browsers, including Chrome, had longer validity than the current ones. So, how long are the latest ones valid? In case you’re wondering, they’re valid for 398 days. Moreover, the certificates that have longer validity than those aren’t considered valid after September 2020.
So, if you’re using one such certificate, your site will show a privacy error. Therefore, in that situation, you must get a new valid certificate. After that, you shouldn’t face such errors on your website further.
4. The certificate isn’t trusted
This is often the cause behind certificate errors in many cases. Various authorities can provide you with an SSL certificate for your website. Also, the browser you’re using has a list of sources whom they trust. So, you must certify your website only from one of them. Now, as it happens, many people get the certificate from an authority that a browser doesn’t trust. In such cases, their websites will show a certificate error to visitors.
Now, this will affect your site’s reputation for sure. So, you must make sure that Chrome trusts the SSL certificate that you get for your website. In case they don’t, you can reach out to them for a solution. Also, you might have to get a new certificate from an authority whom they trust.
5. The certificate is for a different domain
Facing privacy errors even when you have a valid certificate? This might mean that you’ve got the wrong one for your website. After all, that isn’t a rare mistake that site owners might make. Most of them have indeed reported this as the cause of the error in their case. So, you might end up entering a different domain name while getting the certificate. This often happens as there are quite a lot of domains with similar names on the web. Thus, you need to make sure whether that’s the case. If it is, then you must get the right certificate as soon as possible.
6. Other causes
Apart from the ones mentioned above, there are other possible causes behind this error as well. That includes the possibility that your SSL certificate has been revoked. If that’s the case, you probably have received a mail regarding it. Also, you must make sure that the structure of the certificate isn’t broken.
The above-mentioned causes and solutions should help visitors as well and site owners. Now, not everyone faces the error due to the same issue. So, you must consider the causes carefully and apply the fixes based on the problem in your case.