Did you know that more than one-third of today’s websites use an SSL certificate?
That’s a huge increase since just a couple of years ago, about 7% of websites worldwide used SSL certificates.
However, most internet users have seen the “SSL connection error” displayed when they try to access a website.
Sometimes this error might appear with a different message such as “Your connection is not private.”
What’s the reason behind this error?
And what you can do, as a website owner, to fix this problem?
That’s what we’re going to find out in this article, so keep reading!
SSL stands for Secure Sockets Layer.
It is used to create a safe connection between the client and the server which transmits data.
This information is encrypted using two keys – a private one and a public one.
The public key is available for everyone to read, but the private one is available only for the recipient of the message.
When a website has an SSL badge, you’ll see “https://” in front of its domain name, instead of the classic “http://”.
This means that your connection is more secure and any data you input into the website is encrypted to prevent theft.
An SSL Certificate is a method of ensuring the user that the information sent over a website is safe and encrypted.
SSL certificates contain information about the domain of the website, the owner’s address and other relevant information.
These certificates can be bought when someone starts a website and they help build trust with internet users or customers.
The SSL connection error is quite common and it can be caused by multiple factors.
Sometimes the problem is found on the server hosting the website, in other cases, the problem might be found on the user’s end.
This error can appear for a couple of reasons such as:
These are just a few of the reasons why the untrusted certificate error might appear.
You should also know that such errors might be temporary. You can be blocked from viewing a website today, but tomorrow you’ll be able to visit it just fine.
This error is not necessarily specific to a website or browser either. You can find it in both Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox browsers.
Users report seeing this error in multiple websites such as Gmail, Google or even Reddit.
There are multiple solutions to this problem, depending on the reason why it appears.
For example, you can tweak something in your browser to make the error go away. You can also adjust settings in the WordPress platform if that’s where the error appears. You can even tweak your Android phone since this problem is pretty popular there too.
Let’s look at a few solutions to the SSL connection error.
This is a common cause for the SSL problem and it can be fixed in just 1 minute.
Press your Windows key, press “R” and input “timedate.cpl”. This will open up the settings for your computer’s time and date.
Make sure that the information displayed is correct and adjust if necessary. Click on “Change Time Zone” and select the correct one if it doesn’t currently fit your time zone.
Click “Ok” and visit the website again. The problem should be solved.
If the time and date are wrong each time you start your machine then there might be a problem with the CMOS battery.
This battery keeps track of time when the computer is turned off. You should replace this battery if it displays incorrect time and date when you start your computer.
The SSL connection error might be caused by a browser problem. Here’s what you can do to fix it:
Step 1 – Clear Browser History – press CTRL + SHIFT + DELETE at the same time to open the settings of your current browser.
Look for browsing history and click on “Clear Browsing Data” or its equivalent.
Make sure that you also clear your browser cookies and cache.
Open the website again and see if the error is still displayed.
Step 2 – Update Your Browser – this is a simple and self-explanatory step. Open up the settings in your current browser and look for the “Update Browser” button.
Sometimes the SSL error might be caused by an outdated browser and this single step can fix that.
Step 3 – Use Incognito Tabs- every browser has a method of accessing the internet anonymously.
Use an Incognito Tab to access the website in question and see if the error is still there. For many users, this has been the solution to their SSL problem.
Step 4 – Reset Your Browser – this setting gets your browser back to its default version.
Open up the settings page of your browser, click on “Advanced” and look for a button called “Reset Browser” or its equivalent.
Reset your browser, restart it and access your website. If the error is still there, go to the next step.
Step 5 – Use the Chrome Flag – this technique should be used at your own risk.
If none of the above methods worked, this can be a temporary solution to your SSL problem. It works only for Google Chrome.
Right click on your Chrome icon and select “Properties”.
Look for the “Shortcut” tab. Next to the “Target:” text you should see a box where you can type.
Write “\chrome.exe-ignore-certificate-errors” at the end of the text in that box. Make sure that what you type is between quotes.
Click “Apply” and “Ok”. Visit your website and see if the error is still there or not.
What this method does is to make Google Chrome ignore security certificates when navigating websites.
This might let you bypass the SSL connection error, but it will also make your online presence more vulnerable to frauds, so use at your own risk.
Step 6 – Change Chrome Settings – downgrading the security level on Google Chrome might fix the SSL error in some cases.
Go to Chrome settings, type “Network” and click on the “Change Proxy Settings” button.
Go to the “Security” tab and drag the slider down until you see “Medium-high” security. Click “Apply” and “Ok”.
Find the “Content” tab, click on the “Clear SSL State” button, click “Apply”, “Ok” and restart your browser.
Hopefully, this would fix your SSL connection problem.
If you’re a website owner and you frequently use WordPress, you might have seen the SSL connection error already.
Here is how you can fix it:
If you bought an SSL certificate and manually installed it, you might get the error when switching from “http://” to “https://”.
Try to reinstall the SSL certificate to solve this problem.
If your WordPress hosting provider installed the certificate for you, it is possible to ask for their support with this issue. They might be able to reset the certificate and fix the problem.
A mixed content error might appear when some images or scripts still run using the old “http://” protocol.
This can prevent your website from being fully secure and the SSL connection error might appear.
To fix this problem, you need to install the “Really Simple SSL” plugin in WordPress.
Once you have activated the plugin, go to Settings > SSL and to inspect the settings. This tool functions automatically, taking care of the mixed content errors quickly.
Once you have moved your WordPress site from “http://” to “https://”, you might still get the SSL connection error from time to time.
Some users report getting rid of this problem by enforcing the SSL connection from the admin panel.
Locate your “wp-config.php” file on the server of your website. Add the following piece of code into that file to enforce SSL connection.:
Refresh your website and see if this works.
Although it is quite rare to have malware causing the SSL problem, it is a good idea to give this solution a try.
Malwarebytes is a common program used to protect computers and scan for viruses.
It can do a good job at eliminating common malware problems which might cause the SSL error. Download this program, run a “Quick Scan” as well as a”Full Scan”, restart your computer and see if this worked.
You can also scan for malware using other known antivirus programs such as Avast Antivirus, Kaspersky or BitDefender.
In some cases, your own firewall or antivirus program might cause the SSL problem.
This happens because the antivirus might mistakenly detect malware on your website.
By deactivating your antivirus program or firewall for a while, you can fix this problem. Make sure you also update the virus definitions and restart your computer to see if this solved the SSL error.
This method should be used only if nothing else worked and only if you’re absolutely sure that the SSL problem might originate on your end, not on the server.
To restore the system to a previous state, hit the “Windows” key, hit “R” and type “rstrui”.
This will display a window to help you restore the system to a previous state.
Try to remember when was the last time you were able to access your website and not get the nasty untrusted certificate error.
From the drop-down menu, choose a date before the one you think the error started to appear. Click “Next” and let Windows work its magic.
Multiple smartphones running Android might also display the SSL error.
You can try a few steps similar to the ones mentioned above to fix the problem.
For example, try updating your Chrome browser on your Android phone as well as clearing browsing data and cookies.
You should also adjust the time and date to see if this fixed the problem.
Another option would be to change your Wi-Fi connection.
Public Wi-Fi networks are not to be trusted. They are insecure and might cause frequent SSL problems.
What you should do is to switch to a private network and access your website again. Does it work now?
You can also use your data plan and disable WI-Fi altogether for a while. Did this solve the problem?
If absolutely nothing worked, not even disabling your antivirus program on Android, then you might want to reset your device.
This is a “last resort” option. Make sure that you have your files and contacts backed up before resetting your Android device.
You can find the “Reset” button somewhere in your smartphone’s setting panel. Its equivalent would be “Restore to Factory Settings”.
Getting the SSL connection error is not the end of the world for your website.
Although it can be caused by various factors, there are numerous things you can try to fix it.
To learn more about SSL and get one at an affordable price, check out our web page on SSL certificates!