How to fix NET::ERR CERT WEAK SIGNATURE ALGORITHM error?

By Tobenna Nnabeze | December 23, 2019 |

greater than 6 minutes

You’ve been presented with an error message that says, “Your connection is not private. Attackers might be trying to steal your information from domain_name.com, NET::ERR_CERT_WEAK_SIGNATURE_ALGORITHM”. This error occurred as you tried accessing a site using your Google Chrome browser.

You may have tried reloading the browser, but the problem persists.

If you’ve been experiencing this with several sites, you are not alone. Many users have reported the issue. The good news is there are several things you can do to get rid of it.

What causes the NET::ERR_CERT_WEAK_SIGNATURE_ALGORITHM error?

The error occurs when your browser cannot verify a server’s SSL certificate.

There are three reasons why the warning is displayed:

  • There is no secure SSL connection between your computer and the server.
  • Although the server has an SSL certificate, which is meant to protect your private data, your browser has failed to recognize it because it was not issued by a trusted organization. Popular browsers only recognize certificates issued by a trusted source.
  • The SSL certificate has not been properly configured, is expired, or does not belong to the domain you are trying to visit.

How to fix the issue

Before we go ahead to present the fixes, you first have to make sure that the problem is not from your end.

Here’s what you have to do to determine whether the fault is from your computer, your internet connection, or the server:

  • Using the same internet connection, try opening the website on another computer. If it goes through successfully, it means the problem is from your primary computer.
  • However, if the problem persists after you’ve used another computer, use a different internet connection and try opening the website again. If it loads successfully, it means the problem is from your network and not from your devices.
  • If you’ve used different networks and different computers to try accessing the site without any positive result, it means the problem is from the server. If this is the case, there is nothing you can do about it except to inform the website so they can fix the issue from their end.

If after attempting the above checks, you realize that the problem is from your end, go ahead and apply the following fixes:

  1. Clear the SSL state
  2. Temporarily disable your anti-malware and security services
  3. Reset your network configuration
  4. Clear your browsing data
  5. Bypass the security warning

Let’s get right to it:

Fix 1: Clear the SSL state

While setting up an SSL connection, your computer requests a copy of the digital certificate from the server for verification before it begins transferring your data. To avoid repeating this process several times, it saves the SSL state so as to retrieve it locally next time.

The “Your connection is not private” error may therefore arise when there is a problem with the SSL certificate cache. Clearing it might help resolve the issue.

Follow these easy steps to do so:

  1. To bring up the Run dialog, press the Windows logo key + R shortcut on your keyboard.
  2. Type or copy and paste inetcpl.cpl into the text box and press Enter on your keyboard or click the OK button.
  3. On the Internet Properties box that opens, go to the Contents tab and click the Clear SSL state button.
  4. Click the Apply button and click Ok if a confirmation prompt pops up.
  5. Click the OK button to exit the Internet Properties box.
  6. Restart your computer.
  7. Launch Chrome and try accessing the website again to see if a secure connection will be successful.

Fix 2: Temporarily disable your anti-malware and security services

Some users may suggest this as the first solution to try. But disabling your antivirus program and firewall protection is often not advisable, especially if you are unsure that the site you are trying to visit can be trusted.

However, it may happen that your antivirus software’s internet protection settings are interfering with your web browser and causing the problem you are encountering.

Open the software and disable these settings if you can locate them. You can look up the instructions on how to do that for your particular antivirus. Afterwards, see if you can load the site successfully.

If the error persists, disable the antivirus program and firewall completely, restart your computer and then try loading the site again. If that resolves the issue, contact your vendor for advice or consider installing a different antivirus program.

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Fix 3: Reset your network configuration

Your browser may be unable to establish a secure connection due to issues with your network configuration. Resetting it can help resolve the problem. Follow the easy steps below to achieve that:

  1. Go to the Start menu.
  2. Type CMD in the search bar.
  3. Right-click on Command Prompt from the search results and select Run as administrator.
  4. In the elevated command prompt window that opens, copy and paste the lines listed below. Press Enter after each one to execute it before you move on to the next:
  • ipconfig /flushdns
  • ipconfig /renew
  • ipconfig /registerdns
  • netsh int ip set dns
  • netsh winsock reset

Note: Ensure you don’t add the bullet points when you enter the above commands in the elevated command prompt window.

  1. Restart your computer.

After you’ve completed these steps, launch your browser and check if the site will load without any issue.

Fix 4: Clear your browsing data

If the website opens when you use another computer, it may be that the problem lies with your browser. You can fix this by clearing your browsing data. This will remove any faulty files that may be contained in your browser and causing the problem.

Before you go ahead to do this, keep in mind that it implies erasing your passwords, cached images and files, download history, and so on.

Here’s how to clear the browser data on Google Chrome:

  1. Launch the browser.
  2. Type or copy and paste chrome://settings into the URL bar and press enter to open the browser settings.
  3. Scroll down to the bottom of the page and click on the “Advanced” drop-down.
  4. At the bottom of the Privacy and security category, you’ll find “Clear browsing data”. Click on it.

Note: Alternatively, you can skip steps 2 to 4 and simply press Ctrl + Shift + Delete on your keyboard. This will lead you straight to the “Clear browsing data” menu.

  1. Click on the “Advanced” tab and select “All time” under Time range.
  2. Mark the checkbox for the items you want to clear (we suggest you mark all the items) and then click the Clear data button.

After you’ve completed this fix, restart your browser and try accessing the site again. See if the problem has been resolved. If it persists, consider reinstalling Chrome or reset it after backing up your data.

Fix 5: Bypass the security warning

You should do this as a last resort since it may compromise the security of your computer. Proceed only if you are entirely sure that the site you are trying to load can be trusted and does not contain any malicious elements. Some known sites may not have a good SSL certificate.

Follow these steps to bypass the security warning:

  1. Visit the website.
  2. Once the error message is displayed, click on Advanced > Proceed to example.com (unsafe).

You’ll now be redirected to the website, and you’ll be able to access its contents.

Before you consider bypassing the security warning, you may want to try the following tips and see if any of them will work for you:

  • Check your device’s date and time settings. Adjusting and readjusting them will prompt Chrome to perform some checks that might help in resolving the error.
  • There may be certain Chrome extensions that could be causing the issue. Disabling your extensions may help fix the problem.
  • Scan your computer for malware. We recommend you use Auslogics Anti-Malware for this.
  • If you happen to be facing this issue not only on one website, it could be that there is some software installed on your computer that’s causing interference. To find out, click on the NET::ERR_CERT_WEAK_SIGNATURE_ALGORITHM error to view more details. The item listed under “Issuer” is probably the culprit. Uninstall it and try accessing the website again.
  • If you have the Chrome browser on several devices and are signed in to the same account on all of them, the error may occur if the browser is syncing bad data. To fix this, launch your Chrome browser. Type chrome://settings/syncSetup in the URL bar and press enter. Once on the page, go ahead to turn off sync and see if that fixes the issue.
  • If you are using the Ubuntu operating system, execute the following command on your terminal: sudo apt-get install libnss3-1d.

We hope the solutions presented here have proven useful in fixing the error.

Please feel free to leave a comment in the section below if you have any comments or further suggestions.

We’ll love to hear from you.

Fed up with your slow PC? Tired of waiting for Windows to start up? Take a look at the most common reasons behind poor performance and the best ways to deal with them here.
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