Secure connection failed

If you’re getting an error message saying something like “Secure connection failed” or “Your connections is not private” when visiting the New Internationalist digital magazine site, it’s a false flag.  Here’s how to fix it.

Why am I getting this error?

It’s a long story, but the basics of it are this:

  • At the beginning of 2017 it became clear that some questionable website authentication certificates had been issued by affiliates of Symantec Corporation.
  • Google announced a process by which trust in the questionable certificates would be revoked.
  • Sites such as our digital.newint.com.au magazine site followed the recommended guidelines, but in the end needed to gain security certification from an alternative certifier.  That’s been done, but the old untrusted certificates are still cached in some browsers.

How to get rid of the false error message in Chrome

If you’re using the Chrome browser, here’s what to do to fix the problem by clearing the cached old certificate.

  • Close Chrome
  • Reopen Chrome
  • Visit this address in Chrome:  chrome://net-internals/#hsts
  • Scroll right down to the bottom of that page.
  • You’ll see the bottom paragraph is headed Delete domain security policies
  • Where it asks for the Domain: to delete type in digital.newint.com.au and press delete

How to get rid of the false error message in Firefox

  • Close all open tabs in Firefox
  • Open the full History window in Firefox with the keyboard shortcut Ctrl + Shift + H (Cmd + Shift + H on Mac). You must use this window or the sidebar for the below options to be available.
  • Find the site you want to delete the HSTS settings for – digital.newint.com.au – you can search for the site at the upper right if needed.
  • Right-click the site from the list of items and click Forget About This Site.This should clear the HSTS settings (and other cache data) for that domain.
  • Restart Firefox and visit the site. You should now be able access https://digital.newint.com.au again.

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