Print 44 comment(s) - last by Kurz.. on Jan 31 at 9:49 AM

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 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:

"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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