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Americans are the most fearful of government monitoring online.  (Source: Opera Software ASA/YouGov)

Americans were quite confident their passwords were strong, though.  (Source: Opera Software ASA/YouGov)

Opera has approved a Web of Trust extension for its browser.  (Source: Opera Software ASA)
Study also shows men have slightly different browsing security tendencies than women

In honor of Data Privacy Day 2011, Norwegian browser-maker Opera Software ASA has released a security study [press release].  The study offers some pretty humorous and intriguing statistics.

The study finds that more Americans worry about their online privacy being violated (25 percent) than going bankrupt (23 percent) or losing their job (22 percent).  

Also Americans appeared to be the most fearful of their government.  Of the three web-heavy nations studied -- the U.S., Japan, and Russia -- Americans were by far the most fearful of the government monitoring their online activities.  Over 35 percent said they were the most worried about the government having too much insight into their online activities, versus only 14 percent in Russia and 7 percent in Japan.

Still, Americans appeared to be generally more confident than their security savvy than their foreign peers.  The results show 61 percent of Americans surveyed believed their passwords were very secure, versus only ~50 percent and ~26 percent in Russia and Japan, respectively.  Americans also deleted their web histories most often and were second only to the Russians in antivirus use percentage (79 percent in the U.S.).

Interestingly there was some observed gender difference in terms of web browsing habits.  The study found 52 percent of men surveyed delete their web browsing history regularly, versus only 42 percent of women.

The survey was carried out via contractor YouGov and included over 1,000 participants over the age of 18 in each of the three countries examined.

In related news, Opera released a minor update -- 11.01 [download] [changelog] -- to its browser, fixing several security vulnerabilities, one of which was critical.  You can read more about that vulnerability here.

Opera also added support for a new extension [add-ons] that is popular on other browsers -- Web of Trust [press release].  The extensions offers user-submitted and expert reviews of sites' trustworthiness when you mouse-over a web-link.  The service also offers child safety ratings, to help prevent children from being exposed to inappropriate content online.

Vesa Perälä, CEO of WOT describes, "WOT brings transparency to the Web and makes it more difficult for unscrupulous site owners to operate. For example, the WOT community is better at detecting scam sites than automated systems alone, because it requires input from real consumers to identify bad customer service. We are pleased to make the WOT extension available as another line of defense for Opera users."


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RE: None of this is really surprising
By tamalero on 1/29/2011 10:23:40 AM , Rating: 2
what stops them from thinking in the greedy way of saving money and.. you know.. do what they're doing now...
spending the money in some place like china where they can get everything of lower quality but tons of times cheaper..

with no regulations everyone will abuse of the system (like they're doing right now hardcore)

you're confusing a corrupt governament than a good governament.
a good governament is supposed to protect their citizens from abuse.
what is happening right now is the inversed.. protecting the corporations out of greed. (RIAA, ACTA, MPAA, GOLDMAN SACHS)
the whole "deregularization" to let dumb advanced schemes designed to desestabilice the economy (the whole variables added to smuck up and inflate up the hosing market with super complex formula based shares).
if you leave an hole, the greedy ones will always use it for their advantage.
if you make more holes.. you really think they wont exploit them?
like I said before, the best way to go is a balanced state.

good luck trying to find a "choice" when all monopolies conspire for price fixing and other things.. with a fake sense of "choice" and the governament will then be too weak to defend you. (see many African nations, where they have to do the will of the big euro or american companies exploiting their resources, if not, they do make wars to remove said governaments)


RE: None of this is really surprising
By Kurz on 1/29/2011 11:34:13 AM , Rating: 2
The Money doesn't dissappear... The money comes back and China uses US Dollars to invest in our economy. Further stimulating our economy.

The System is only being abused because government gives Corporations avenues to abuse people. Having Protection against competition, Corn Lobby, Auto Lobby, Health Insurance Lobby.

Government is the reason WE HAVE MONOPOLIES.
They prevent choices everytime they pass laws. Government in itself is a monopoly of coercion. How has government ever been weak? All I see is government getting bigger and more powerful over our day to day lifes.

African Countries only do business with us because its Beneficial to do so! There is no such thing as exploitation.
You need two parties to agree to a deal.
If you agree to paint my house for $1 how is that exploitation?


RE: None of this is really surprising
By roykahn on 1/29/2011 4:17:24 PM , Rating: 2
There's much that I can respond to, but I'll just focus on the exploitation topic as those comments of yours were the most incorrect.

African countries have been exploited for hundreds of years. England, Italy, France, Spain, USA, etc. have all exploited the labour and natural resources from Africa. It wasn't business, it was exploitation. Slavery, deforestation, water pollution, soil degradation are not signs good business. Is it good to earn under $1 per day while also not having clean water?

Globalization and the IMF have also accelerated the suffering of African nations. Negotations and agreements are made by the world's elite (government and multinational corporations) with no representation for the local population or environment. African nations have a history of corrupt leadership that are backed by foreign powers, which is obviously still the case in many nations. The foreign powers will also provide military equipment and training to the corrput leadership in exchange for exploiting cheap labour and resources. Negotiations are made for the benefit of those in power. They'll take as much as they can get away with while trying to convince others that their actions are justifiable or simply hiding their actions.

I'm sorry to say this, but you should really learn some history and the way the world currently operates because it sounds like you're basing your arguments off some bad sources.


RE: None of this is really surprising
By Kurz on 1/29/2011 7:41:56 PM , Rating: 3
Are these 'rich' nations coming in with force?
Isn't there a mutual agreement between two parties?
Then there is no exploitation.

Slavery, Deforestation, Water Pollution, Soil Degradation are all signs of Poverty not Exploitation.

Why did Slavery end in the developing world? Because enough wealth, investment, and capital was reached in order to end it. Slavery became inefficient when put up against Industrialization.

All those environmental protection laws cost money. Money is something that Africans don't have much of. They rather worry about Food, Water and saving so they can eventually reach a level of prosperity.

By us investing in them their standard of living is going up. They are glad they are able to work for that $1 a day. before they might have been making pennies a day.

Why should others care if one business owns a stretch of land and he is calling in a foreign business to come in and invest so he can sell the resources? Why should government get involved. The government doesn't own the land the property holder owns it.

I can understand air pollution since thats common property, however again that can make them uncompetitive to the rest of the world. Its expensive in order to have strict air pollution laws.

Corrupt leadership getting guns and training? Well that's a corrupt government not our fault. The people there should be revolting and pushing for a Limited government based on liberty like ours (Though we lost sight of). If we want to do business deals we have to carter to the needs of the other party. If the guy is a Drug Lord then we have to negotiate till everyone is happy.

I do know history, I just have a different interpretation on the world than you do. Though you should learn about Economics, Consequences of policies, Be able to see the difference between Correlation and Causation.

I can see you probably think everyone should be prosperous.
Being Prosperous takes hundreds of years, it takes a lot of time and money to build up that wealth (Wealth is Property, Education, Private Infrastructure). It requires a clear sense of Property rights and it takes a limited government that doesn't impede on the rights of its citizens (Look at Somalia when they went Anarchy for a short period They went through a boon). Free Market is a boon to any economy.


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