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January 30 2018

16:16

Warning: iPhone X scam. Fake: “FREE Apple iPhone X Visitor Browser Opinion Survey” competition

We are currently observing many websites claiming that your browser developer (or your Internet connection provider) has chosen you (or your IP address) to complete a survey, provide personal information or buy some gadgets to win a free iPhone.

Unfortunately, this is a scam. These websites are in no way related to the companies mentioned, including ours. Like other Internet companies, we are trying hard to suppress such websites by blocking them in our browsers. The fake websites are created and multiplied in many variations and it is very difficult for us to block them all automatically.   

You can help us by reporting these websites to the Netcraft database, which is one of Opera’s information sources for our built-in fraud and malware protection mechanism ( https://toolbar.netcraft.com/report_url ).

How do I protect myself from scams?

Before participating in giveaways on the Internet or clicking on pop-up messages that encourage you to win something, make sure to check the website’s URL in the browser address bar carefully and ensure that the giveaway is actually run by the company mentioned in the message. Take a look at the example below and look for the black part of the text:

The website is not apple.com , but rather com-freegift-programme.com, so it isn’t a competition run by Apple.

There are also many good articles on this topic:

Stay safe!

Opera Team

January 27 2018

23:01

Data Privacy Day: Tips & tricks on staying safe online from Opera

The Data Privacy Day on January 28 is a date we particularly care about at Opera, since maintaining our users’ privacy has always been important to us and remains a task we care about deeply. Today, we would like to use this opportunity to share some tips and tricks that will help you make sure your browsing experience remains a positive one and that no unwanted parties get hold of your data as you surf the web.

What can you do? Please check out this list of 6 simple tips and tricks to find out more.

1. Protect yourself on public Wifi

There are free Wi-Fi hotspots everywhere and it’s always tempting to connect to one to save mobile data. But be careful. Connecting to these free Wi-Fi hotspots could put your private information at risk. When you connect to a public WiFi hotspot, you could be exposed to malicious attacks. However, while using the Opera desktop browser, you can protect yourself by simply enabling the free built-in VPN function. This means your data is encrypted in transit and ensures it won’t be intercepted even on unsecured WiFi networks. The data is also going through our servers, so websites you visit cannot see your real IP.

2. Use ad blocker to reduce tracking

By enabling Opera’s ad blocker, which is available in all our mobile and PC browsers, you make sure your browsing preferences are less likely to be reported to third party tracking services, such as advertisers.

While we’re at it: Our ad blocker also features a unique anti-cryptojacking tool, which puts you on the safe side, that no one runs scripts on your device to mine cryptocurrencies. This tool keeps your Opera PC and mobile browsers protected. You can try our cryptojackingtest.com to check if your browser is safe.

3. Avoid sharing sensitive data through non-https connections

Using  non-HTTPS connections puts your private data at risk. It is highly recommended that you avoid inputting your sensitive information if you are not sure whether a given website is maintaining best practices for privacy and security.

4. Use incognito mode when you don’t want your browsing history recorded

There are times when you don’t want your browsing history recorded. Like when you’re logging into your email or social-media profiles using a friend’s computer, when you’re accessing your online bank in an internet café or if you’re accessing a website with content on the sexy side. The incognito mode lets you access them and then makes the browser forget.

5. Be aware of privacy terms.

Read the privacy policy and take note of the location of a given company. Opera, for example, is a Norwegian company operating under Norwegian privacy laws, which are among the best when it comes to protecting people’s privacy.

6. Spread the word

It’s important your friends know about privacy – so just let them know what they can do. You can also share this post.

Links

If you want to dig deeper, here are some links you can check out to know more about privacy.

A TED Talk on privacy we find informative:

https://www.ted.com/talks/glenn_greenwald_why_privacy_matters

Useful Opera add-on you can install:

https://addons.opera.com/en/extensions/details/privacy-badger

October 26 2017

04:39

Welcome to the new Opera forums

Hi,

We are excited to announce that our new forums page is ready. Our revamped community site features a new forums engine, a new visual theme, reorganised and tidied categories, an improved search engine, a simplified yet enhanced posts composer and many other features.

Users of our old forums site will be able to log in to the new forums with their same profile. Profile history and statistics have been retained. All topics and threads have been transferred over as well, allowing you to continue your conversations about all things related to Opera.

We invite you to discover our new Opera forums! Our welcome page will detail everything you need to know about our refurbished meeting place.

July 12 2017

04:00

Join us to fight for net neutrality

At Opera, we’ve always fought against all kinds of technical thresholds that could slow down the speed of internet for almost two decades with using our compression technology . They are the device hardware that does not have enough CPU power or memory to render web pages, crowded Wi-Fi network, or web pages filled with oversize images, video or heavy programming. We’ve also fought against high mobile data costs and limited mobile network bandwidth to speed up the internet and lower the costs to access the web for those in need.

Barriers to fair internet access continue raising. In the US, the FCC is planning to give internet service providers control over what people can see and do on the web, with the power to slow down websites. This is a threat to net neutrality. If we lost net neutrality, people could soon have the web where some of their favorite sites are forced into a slow lane online, while deep-pocketed companies have special fast lane access to reach their users. This is against our efforts to make the internet faster and more affordable.

Today we join hands with web sites, online communities, and internet users, like yourself, to sound the alarm about the threat to net neutrality. By accessing this site , you will be able to submit a comment to the FCC and Congress.

If you join, we will be able to stop the FCC from destroying net neutrality rules. You can also change your social media profile pictures to show off your support and invite your friends, families, followers to take action 🙂

 

Love these avatars? You can get more and learn about this campaign here .

 

May 17 2017

11:28

Ads eat more than half of the page loading time

While advertising is an important part of the internet, much of today’s web is plagued with slow loading ads. Cumbersome ads are one of the main reasons why people choose to use an ad blocker. These ads are also a major issue for the websites themselves.

To illustrate the problem, we have released results from a new online research which shows that we lose, on average, more than half of the time spent waiting for pages to load due to bad ads, slowing down the browsing experience.

The research was done manually with the speed test tool built into the Opera browser. You can run a speed benchmark test yourself to check how quickly any web page loads with ad blocking turned on, as well as how many ads were blocked. The time difference shows how long a page would load if ads and ad trackers were blocked or unblocked.

 

Bloated ads haven’t gone away

Last year, we challenged the online ad industry by releasing a built-in ad blocker to push the idea that there should be a switch towards more user-friendly ads. However, the switch towards lighter ads is moving too slow , causing more and more people to start blocking ads.

Bloated ads remain the main performance issue for billions of users around the world. They waste valuable time every day as we wait for our web content to display.

Research findings

Opera conducted its online ad research* on the nine most popular news websites worldwide (according to SimilarWeb ). The results showed that, on average, a single website is 51% slower when loading with unblocked ads (3.8 seconds) compared when loading with blocked ads (1.89 seconds). In other words, news websites could be displayed 51% faster if ads were blocked.

In total, heavy and slow ads cause billions of lost browsing hours every month, all time that could be spent for other, more productive activities.

 

 

Another test** we made showed that ads significantly reduce the laptop battery life. With ad block turned on, the battery life when browsing was 5 hours and 14 minutes. Without an ad blocker, battery life was shortened to 4 hours and 39 minutes. This translates into a 12.9% loss. Assuming that the average user spends over four hours daily on the internet , ads squeeze their laptop battery life by over 31 minutes per day, and almost 15 hours and 39 minutes every month.

 

People are looking for solutions

Modern standards for light, non-intrusive online ad formats have, unfortunately, not been widely implemented by the ad industry yet. This situation causes the demand for ad blocking to continue to increase. Since ad block extensions are still too slow, built-in ad block technologies are gaining interest in the browser industry.

With serious performance issues, a shift towards less intrusive and privacy-friendly online ad practices is the most urgent challenge for the web today. Brands and advertisers need to finally understand this.

 

*Opera conducted its tests on the nine most popular news websites worldwide (according to SimilarWeb). For each website, we repeated the tests five times and calculated the average loading time with both disabled and enabled native ad blocking. The difference was the average time we waste on loading a news website. We multiplied it by the average number of pages our users view. The tests were performed on a machine running Windows 10 x64, using an i7-6500U CPU and 8GBs of RAM.

**We used a 14″, i3-5005U, 4GB, 500GB HDD computer with Win 10 using the balanced power profile. The backlight was set to 100% throughout the testing. There was no other software running in the foreground. Laptops were placed on a wooden surface for similar heat exchange.

The browser was automated using WinAPI event injection. For battery status information, IOCTL_BATTERY_QUERY_STATUS was used.

Battery remaining capacity was measured once per minute.

In each configuration (with native ad blocking disabled and enabled), the test was run for two hours.

The tests were done in four steps:

Step 1: Configure the system.

Charge the battery to 100%.

Step 2: Load facebook.com, google.com, amazon.com, yahoo.com, wikipedia.org, vk.com, live.com, twitter.com, youtube.com– in separate tabs.

Step 3: In a loop, scrolling activity was simulated in one of the tabs:

For 30 seconds, pressing the Down Arrow was simulated every 100 milliseconds with

5 seconds of idle time
For 30 seconds, pressing the Up Arrow was simulated every 100 milliseconds with
15 seconds of idle time

Step 4: Each minute, the present battery capacity was recorded.

 

April 19 2017

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