When browsing the internet, you may sometimes encounter the “There is a problem with this website’s security certificate“, “Certificate Error: Navigation Blocked” or “Privacy Error” message on your browser, such as Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Microsoft Edge, or Internet Explorer. This article explains what these security certificate errors mean and how to resolve them on Windows 10 and Windows 11.
To understand the issue, we must first know what HTTPS and SSL are. HTTPS is the secure version of HTTP that enables encrypted communications between your browser and the website, protecting sensitive data such as credit card information and personal details when you visit e-commerce shopping sites. These sites usually have HTTPS.
Security Certificate Error on Specific Websites
If you see a security certificate error message only on specific websites, it may mean that the site’s certificate is either expired or invalid or that the certificate information is incorrect, such as the certificate not matching the site’s web address.
This will cause your browser to display the certificate error in Windows 10 or 11, warning you about possible data vulnerability when accessing the site. You can either choose to leave the site immediately or continue at your own risk (usually not recommended by the browser).
The certificate error will also appear if you try to visit the HTTPS version of a webpage that does not have an SSL certificate. In this case, you can try to access the HTTP version of the same webpage to see if it works.
We suggest that you only trust a site that has HTTPS and that the HTTPS is accessible when entering sensitive data such as credit card information. Never enter sensitive data on web pages that are not protected by HTTPS.
News Update: Effective July 2018, Google Chrome marked all websites without HTTPS as “not secure” according to Google security blog. Therefore, if you visit an HTTP site that worked before July 2018, Chrome may show you a privacy or certificate error. Despite this, you can still choose to continue at your own risk if you trust the site. The certificate error is there to warn you about possible data theft if you enter data on that site.
Security Certificate Error on All Websites
If your browser displays a security certificate error on all websites in Windows 10 or Windows 11, the issue is most likely on your end. There are several common causes and solutions for this problem, which we have listed below.
Check Your Windows 10 or Windows 11 Date and Time
Check whether your Windows 10 or Windows 11 date and time are correctly set. If they are incorrect, this can cause your Chrome, Firefox, or Edge browser to display a security certificate error on all websites. A difference in minutes should be fine. However, if the time is days or even years away from the actual time, the security certificate error will surely occur when you access any website. This issue is especially common after a Windows 10 or Windows 11 update or on Skype Business.
To check and adjust the date and time in Windows 10 or Windows 11, move your mouse cursor over to the date and time usually shown at the bottom right corner of your desktop screen. Right-click on it and select “Adjust date/time.”
Select your time zone and enable the “Set time automatically” option to allow Windows to synchronize the date and time with its server. If it fails to sync, set the date and time manually by clicking on the “Change” button.
Clear Your Browser’s Caches and Cookies
Clearing your browser’s caches and cookies is an important step in resolving security certificate errors on Windows 11 or 10. Caches are temporary files stored on your computer that allow your browser to load websites more quickly. However, if these files become outdated or corrupted, they can cause issues such as security certificate errors.
Cookies, on the other hand, are small text files that store information about your browsing history and preferences. While they can be useful for remembering login information or website preferences, they can also become corrupted or outdated and cause website’s certificate issues.
Other Possible Causes
Antivirus or firewall software may be blocking the site’s HTTPS request, causing your browser to display a security certificate error in Windows 10 or Windows 11. If your antivirus is blocking the site or connection, try temporarily disabling your antivirus and firewall software and retrying to visit the website.
Disable all your browser extensions to make sure nothing is interfering with the HTTPS connection between your browser and the website. You may also want to try opening the website in incognito mode in your browser to see if the security certificate error still occurs.
How to Bypass Website’s Security Certificate Error on Different Browsers
Listed below are how security certificate errors appear in different browsers, and how to ignore the certificate error and continue to the webpage, only if you trust the site despite the certificate error (at your own risk).
Google Certificate Error on Chrome
In Chrome, when a security certificate error occurs, it will display a “Your connection is not private” message with an error code like ERR_CERT_COMMON_NAME_INVALID or ERR_CERT_DATE_INVALID. To continue to the webpage despite the certificate error, click on the “Advanced” link, then click on the “Proceed to the website (unsafe)” link.
Website’s Security Certificate Error on Firefox
In Firefox, the security certificate error usually appears with the titles “Your connection is not secure” or “This connection is untrusted,” along with an error code such as SEC_ERROR_UNKNOWN_ISSUER, SEC_ERROR_CA_CERT_INVALID, SSL_ERROR_NO_CYPHER_OVERLAP, or SEC_ERROR_EXPIRED_CERTIFICATE.
To continue to the website despite the certificate error, click on “Advanced,” then “I understand the risk and wish to continue.”
Sometimes, Firefox displays a different certificate error screen based on the antivirus software you are using. For example, if you are using Kaspersky antivirus, you may see the screen above.
Security Certificate Error on Edge or Internet Explorer
In Edge or IE, the certificate error will appear as “Certificate Error: Navigation Blocked – There is a problem with this website’s security certificate.” You can choose to either “Go to my homepage instead” or “Continue to this webpage (not recommended).”
In conclusion, security certificate errors are an important security feature that protect users from possible data theft or hacking attempts. While they can be frustrating to encounter, it is important to always be cautious when entering sensitive information on websites and to only trust sites with valid security certificates.