Aqueous Digital

How do I fix an SSL protocol error?

Previously, we’ve covered SSL errors and how to fix them.

There are many ways in which communication between you (the ‘client’) and a webpage can go wrong.

An SSL protocol error won’t be something that triggers a big emergency response from your computer, but it’s something you mustn’t ignore.

It can indicate the information you intend to share may not be as secure as it should.


What is an SSL protocol error?

If you’re trying to visit a website and you encounter an SSL protocol error, this signals a problem with the automated process of communicating between servers and protecting your information.

The ‘protocol’ refers to the encryption protocol that obfuscates your information, which can’t be decrypted and read in plain text without the correct encryption key.

In basic terms, an encryption protocol is a set of rules and algorithms that dictate how a user’s device communicates with a server in a secure way, using encryption algorithms that protect data from being intercepted.

Anything that prevents the secure exchange of information taking place can cause browsers like Google Chrome to throw up a grey page with the message ‘ERR_SSL_PROTOCOL_ERROR’ displayed.


What causes an SSL protocol error?

SSL errors have no one specific cause associated with them, and can come about when any of several factors interrupt a secure connection from taking place.

A common cause of SSL protocol errors is an expired SSL certificate. This digital certificate can only be granted by a limited number of authorised certificate authorities. Possessing a valid certificate authenticates the website’s identity (think like a social media ‘tick’) and therefore its security when handling sensitive data.

Another way in which you might encounter a protocol error is through a mismatch of the protocols through incorrectly configured settings. Errors can also come about as the result of a device’s security settings, such as its firewall or antivirus blocking connections, or a misconfigured system clock.


Why is it important to fix ERR_SSL_PROTOCOL_ERROR?

For those in the know, seeing this error is a clear sign that any sensitive information entered into the website is not secure.

If your website is business critical, fixing SSL protocol errors as quickly as possible is imperative. Online users are more acutely aware of cybercrime than ever, and will not risk their bank details and identifying information on a website that can’t protect it—especially when their browser is yelling at them not to!

Fixing the error might be as simple as renewing your certificate or changing some simple settings, so it makes no sense to let a protocol error sit in the way of business and impact your revenue.

Additionally, it isn’t just money that gets impacted by dangerous-looking errors on your website. It can also impact your business reputation, and inadvertently give your competitors an edge.


How can I fix an SSL protocol error?

If a website visitor is reporting an SSL protocol error, there are some simple fixes they can try on their end such as updating their web browser or changing their firewall settings.

However, if the error happens to every visitor to your site, then the problem must be fixed on your side. The most likely problem lies with your SSL certificate, which is either configured incorrectly or has expired.

You can often find all the necessary information by trying to access your site yourself. This is best done using a laptop or desktop computer.

Check to see if the URL begins with ‘HTTPS’; the ‘S’ in this case means that an SSL certificate is present and the site is secure.

Clicking the padlock icon in the address bar will also display whether or not the site has a valid certificate.


Does web security affect my SEO?

Yes, absolutely.

Always remember that the key to successful SEO is to satisfy people, not the machine (Google).

If your website is suffering from poor security and is warning visitors not to proceed, your rankings will inevitably slip. So, fixing SSL protocol errors isn’t just a matter of safety; it protects your marketing!

If you need an agency that understands these matters and can be your guiding hand to fantastic SEO in Sheffield, Liverpool, Manchester, and all across the UK, contact Aqueous Digital.

We’re an award-winning family business that does SEO the right way. To learn more, simply get in touch.

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