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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 Kurz on 1/29/2011 11:22:38 AM , Rating: 3
You are completely forgetting how these corporations get into these situations. ISP's in your example have been protected in their markets in the USA. Local governments only allow one Telecom for each major technology (Telephone, Cable, Fiber) in most areas.

Government is often protecting companies which leads to them to having their monopolistic control on the market.

Greed is subjective... You can't quantify greed so leave greed out of your argument.

In Capitalism you should have the ability to charge whatever you want for your product/service. It only becomes a problem when government comes in and claims to protect interests of a group of people.

WE DON'T have Capitalism... We have Corporatism.


RE: None of this is really surprising
By roykahn on 1/30/2011 7:21:11 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
It only becomes a problem when government comes in and claims to protect interests of a group of people.


Even if the group of people is 99.9% of the population?

I sense that some commentators here think that governments should be limited to critical functions only and let market forces decide the fate of mankind. I believe that's called market fundamentalism. I think the main mistake such commentators make is that they see the US government and corporations as two separate entities.

As the decades have gone by, corporations and been granted more power and political influence. Only a very small reason for this is "protecting companies". Most of it is caused by removing regulations and the emergence of business rights trumping human rights. If the US government was more concerned with human rights then the world would be a much better place. Of course, the same applies to foreign governments as well.

Just look at the attempted austerity measures in the UK, Ireland, Greece, and even in America. Capitalism has been a failure. More regulations are needed so that society as a whole is not harmed by uncontrolled greed. It's also individual greed, like not paying one's taxes. Riots and protests are happening in many countries over such issues. There aren't so many complaints in the US because people have been brought up to believe that greed is good. Individualism is the height of human ambition. If only you work hard enough, then you too will make it big. It's an interesting topic. We should discuss it over tea one day :-)

I know I'm not going to change your opinion, but you should at least realise that many people do not agree with you.


RE: None of this is really surprising
By Kurz on 1/30/2011 10:19:45 AM , Rating: 3
Even when the Group of people is 99.9 of the population. What you are advocating is Collectivism where a group of people is seen with more rights than an Individual. I am an Individualist, I believe Individuals first. We approach the problems today because Groups are given the right to infringe on rights of individuals solely because they have more people in the group. This group centric philosophy is a moral hazard which leads to what we have today (What we have is a failing economy, Increased wealth disparity, Loss of Individual rights).

US government gives corporations their rights to do what they do. Without Government influence with law, corporations would never have so much power.

The only way to get the US government to respect individual rights is to diminish its power and allow individuals more power.

You can't just cut Public programs, you have to cut taxes, Cut back laws. Allow Private enterprise to come in and compete where the government stop providing. That's why Austerity fails.

Cut greed out of your argument... you cant quantify greed. Since everyone can be seen as greedy if you move the Goal posts enough.

How has capitalism has failed? I ask and you best provide examples of how its failed.

Many people may not agree with me however a growing number are. Though if you want to know more about Libertarianism you should read up/view on Milton Friedman (Youtube it) I find my views closely match his.

I love his youtube on greed 'Milton Friedman Greed'.


RE: None of this is really surprising
By roykahn on 1/30/2011 10:50:58 PM , Rating: 2
Economists come up with theories and models. I've completed an economics degree so I'm not unfamiliar with the field. There are a number of reasons why many economists can't be trusted. My memory of Milton Friedman is not very good, but I still remember that most economic theories rely on assumptions. The most incorrect assumption is about market knowledge and flow of information. It assumes that all investors have equal knowledge and that there are no market secrets. Real world is very different. Economic models and theories do a poor job of taking into consideration the impact on humans and environment.

I don't know how anyone can dare say that there should be less regulation after the recent financial crisis that was basically caused by financial industries and poor regulations. A report was recently released by the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission. Here's part of it from a commissioner:

quote:
"The Federal Reserve was clearly the steward of lending standards in this country. They chose not to act. The Federal Reserve Bank of New York certainly could have reined in what was being done in some of the large money-center banks in New York. I mean, on and on and on, regulator after regulator, they either chose not to act or turned a blind eye to what was actually going on. So it’s less about a particular individual than a systematic sense of deregulation and inaction by those who were in power to take action."


RE: None of this is really surprising
By Kurz on 1/31/2011 9:49:17 AM , Rating: 2
So why should we trust imperfect invidividuals to make the correct decision with the money supply? What I am stating is a complete reform of our money supply and banking system. Our current system is just a mess that requires a constant influx of debt and money creation to keep it going. Its reaching a point of exponential inflation.

Before we had central banking everything was decentralized. Prices were stable and banking crisis were localized. It took the acts of 1862 1863 to change our banking system to fractional reserve banking which opened pandora's box. Then bank crisis became more common and we started to have the Business cycle of booms and busts.

The market has this inate ability to compensate on its own.
Though when everything is centralized in the banking system it literally puts a strangle hold on the market giving it little ability to recover and compensate for anything.


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