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Security concerns propel Web browser switch - but many users still unaware of risks

May 31, 2005

Oslo, Norway - May 31, 2005

More than half of Internet users believe browser choice is a key security factor. In research carried out by Opera Software, 51 percent of the U.S. online population thought their choice of browser can influence whether they get malicious software such as viruses and spyware on their computers. The findings confirm that security is a critical reason for Internet users to switch to alternative browsers.

 

The safety of Internet use is a growing concern for consumers and businesses as they become increasingly aware of browser security issues. Nevertheless, of the 2,800 regular Internet users quizzed by Harris Interactive for the survey, a significant number (49 percent) did not believe that browser choice is a key factor in protecting their computers from malicious software attacks: 17 percent thought it had no effect and 32 percent admitted they don't know whether the choice of browser makes a difference.

 

Most participants said security would prompt them to change browser, however, with 66 percent confirming they would consider using another browser for improved security. The number who had already changed browser (11 percent) indicates a distinct group of discerning Web users. However, the majority could still protect their online activity better if they had more information, for example knowing that security measures vary between browsers.

 

"Changing to a more secure browser is one of the simplest ways for Web users to make surfing safer and minimize the risk of falling victim to virus, spyware or phishing attacks," said HÃ¥kon Wium Lie, CTO, Opera Software. "Many Internet users are putting themselves at risk without knowing it. Simply changing to a browser with better security features will significantly reduce the risk posed by malicious software, giving people peace of mind to surf safely."

 

Opera Software makes security a top priority and recently launched the latest version of its browser, Opera 8 for Windows and Linux. Opera 8 allows Internet users to surf the Web faster, safer and easier than before. It includes new and advanced features such as a unique security information field that is automatically activated to indicate a Web site's level of security and display its owner's certificate. This allows users to compare the certificate against the information shown in the site (including its URL) and use those details to evaluate the Web site's trustworthiness. The user can decrease his or her vulnerability to online fraud by using the given information to assess whether the site is really what it claims to be.

 

By maintaining this priority, Opera continues to hold the best of all browser track records with Secunia (Secunia.com), an Internet security firm that monitors vulnerabilities in various Internet products. According to Secunia reports, Opera has required less security advisories and has recorded faster response time as compared to other browsers that have existed for a mere fraction of Opera's 10-year lifetime as well as those that have been around for much longer: a testament to Opera's quick learning and professional upkeep of security standards.More: http://secunia.com/vendor/12/

 

In March 2005 Opera Software commissioned Harris Interactive to survey 2800 individuals within the US adult online population.

 

Download Opera 8 at www.opera.com/downloadOpera 8 Reviewers' Guide: www.opera.com/press/reviews

 

Opera 8 is available free of charge with an unobtrusive banner at the top of the user interface. To remove the banner users must register the browser for USD 39, though various discounts are offered.

About Opera

Opera enables more than 350 million internet consumers worldwide to connect with the content and services that matter most to them. Opera also helps publishers monetize their content through advertising and advertisers reach the audiences that build value for their businesses, capitalizing on a global consumer audience reach that exceeds 1 billion.

Opera is a trademark of Opera Software AS.