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How to enable Opera’s ingenious protection function

Chrome isn’t the only choice you have. Far from it, as other browsers also have their advantages. Opera scores plus points such as for its unique functions, incredible speed, and maximum protection. Learn about the browser’s special protection functions and how you can use them in the second instalment of our Opera blog series.

Opera ad blocker offers cryptojacking protection

Usually, cybercriminals are keen on getting their hands on money or data; now they have a new target in sight: Stealing computing power – also called cryptojacking. Millions of internet users have fallen victim to this, owing to the rise of cryptocurrencies and their incredible potential profitability. Whether it’s Bitcoin, Ethereum, Dash, or Ripple, the digital currency gold rush is attracting an ever increasing number of cyber swindlers. As the only browser to do so, thankfully Opera offers effective protection against infected ads and banners. This stops them from doing their underhanded “mining” on your computer, which would otherwise sap its computing power and send your electricity bills soaring.

  1. In Opera, open the “Settings” menu by clicking the “red O” on the top left.
  2. Now enable the ad blocker under the “Basic” menu item by clicking the “Block ads” slider control. This also arms you against cryptojackers as the “No Coin” service is enabled automatically under the list of blocked ads. You can check to see you’re protected by clicking “Manage lists”.

Cyber scoundrels who want to steal your computing power now have no chance.

Integrated protection against unsafe networks

Unencrypted Wi-Fi hotspots aren’t just handy for notebook users, but also for hackers and cybercriminals as they can use them to spy on personal data. This is basically what happens with any service that requires you to log in to use it, such as Facebook, WhatsApp, email, and online banking. Even if a hotspot’s name looks legit, it’s no indication that it’s actually secure. This is because cybercrooks can simply disguise hotspots to make them look like the real thing such as “Sprint Hotspot”, “Hilton Hotel Wireless Network”, or “Starbucks Web”. Even logging in using an email address and password says nothing about the network’s security. So, is it best to avoid free Wi-Fi hotspots? No. If you can’t tell if a hotspot is safe, the best thing is to arm yourself with protection. You can do this such as by using a VPN connection. This anonymizes all internet connections and prevents you from leaving behind traces of what you get up to online. It makes your data immune to any form of attack. Opera comes with this feature by default. This is how you use it:

  1. In Opera, open the “Settings” menu by clicking the “red O” on the top left.
  2. Now click “Advanced” and then “Privacy & security”.
  3. You’ll then see “VPN” if you scroll down a bit. Click the slider control to enable the VPN service. You’ll then see a VPN icon on the left in the address bar.
  4. Click the VPN icon to select a virtual location. You can choose from Europe, Asia, as well as the Americas. Once you’ve done that, you’ll be protected and surfing anonymously. You can disable the VPN by clicking the icon again and then clicking the slider control.

And best of all, the VPN connection is not capped at all in terms of data volume – a really unique feature.

Surfing incognito using a key combination

It’s sometimes a good idea not to leave behind any traces when surfing. To do so, be sure to enable private mode. When this is enabled, Opera won’t save any of the sites you visit, nor will it save form information or other data. It’s really easy to enable it:

In Opera, click the “red O” on the top left. In the menu pane, click “New private window”. Alternatively, just use the key combination CTRL + Shift + N. This opens a new window with a black address bar. Use it to browse the web as you usually do – then once you’re done, simply close the browsing window.

Try Opera for yourself. The browser is available at no cost from our Download area. To learn how to make Opera even more secure, see our third instalment.

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