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Stay secure with private browsing

private window

Private browsing ensures that your internet history and activity are removed as soon as you close all private windows.

To browse privately, select File > New Private Window. When you close all private windows, Opera will clear the following associated data:

  • Browsing history
  • Items in cache
  • Cookies

After being closed, a private tab or window cannot be recovered from the Recently Closed list in the tab menu.

While private windows do not leave any record of the websites you visit, if you deliberately save data, for example if you save an item to your Speed Dial, save a password or download a file, it will still be visible after the window is closed.

Clear private data

By default, Opera stores certain browsing data to help speed up connections, load common page elements, and generally interact better with the sites you visit. You may wish to remove traces of your browsing habits by clearing your private data.

To clear private data:

  1. From the main menu, select Opera > Clear Browsing Data….
  2. Select the time period from which you'd like to remove history items using the Obliterate the following items from drop-down menu.
  3. Tick the checkboxes next to the specific browsing data you'd like to remove.
  4. Click Clear browsing data.

Clearing browsing history will delete any stored location information about the pages you have viewed and the times you accessed them.

Clearing download history will empty Opera's record of the files you've downloaded through the browser. This will not delete the file from your local machine, only the record of when and where you downloaded it.

Deleting cookies and other site data will remove any tracked site data. Read more about managing cookies.

Emptying your browser's cache will delete any temporarily stored data from websites. The cache is used to temporarily store page elements, such as images or search queries, so if you wish to access the site again, you can reduce loading times. Emptying this cache will clear up space on your local disk.

Clearing data from hosted apps will delete any data stored by extensions you have installed in the browser. For example, if you installed a weather extension to Speed Dial and set your location in its settings, clearing this data will reset the extension to its default and you will have to tell the extension your location again.

Note: Take care not to erase useful data inadvertently. If you are not already familiar with it, try private browsing. The data for private browsing is automatically cleared when you close all private windows.

Managing how Opera stores private data may be useful, as an alternative to clearing all private data. Read more about setting web preferences.

Use badges to determine page security and more

Opera warns you about suspicious pages by checking the page you request against a database of known "phishing" and "malware" websites. To protect yourself when entering sensitive information, always look for the lock in the security badge.

Badges indicate details about the page you are viewing. When a badge appears in your combined search and address bar, click it to see more information, including security certificates and more.

Icon Indicates…
accelerator badge icon Accelerated (Turbo) connection
camera badge icon Camera access
extension badge icon Extension
warning badge icon Fraud or malware warning
document badge icon Local file
drop pin badge icon Location access
microphone access badge icon Microphone access
O badge icon Opera page
padlock badge icon Secure connection
empty circle badge icon Unprotected connection

When the connection is secure, a lock is displayed in the security badge, implying that no one else can read the information that passes between you and the site. Opera uses certificates to verify the identity of the site owners. A lock means there is good encryption between you and the recipient, and the recipient's identity has been verified.

If a website is found on the blacklist, you will be presented with a warning page, and you can decide whether to visit the website, or to go to back safely to the previous page. Fraud and malware protection does not cause any delay in the opening of pages.

Unblock and allow insecure content

If you are browsing on an encrypted connection (https://), Opera checks to ensure that all parts of the site are encrypted. If Opera detects that any live elements of the page, for example scripts, plugins, or frames, are being served by an open connection (http://), it will block the insecure content. This means parts of the page may not display properly.

Opera advises against allowing insecure content to load into an encrypted connection. The best way to protect your sensitive information is to interact only with secure content. When Opera detects insecure content and blocks it, a warning will appear in the right side of the combined address and search bar.

If you do not care about the security of your connection with the site, you can click the warning to show an Unblock button. This button will allow the blocked content to be loaded onto the page, and the security badge will change to show an open padlock, reminding you that you've allowed insecure content to display on an encrypted connection.

Manage security certificates

Security certificates are used to verify that a website is secure to use. Most of the time certificates are fully valid. If you see a green padlock security badge in your combined search and address bar, you can proceed safely with your browsing.

If you'd like more information about a site's security certificate, click the security badge and select Details. Opera will summarize the certificate's issuer, the type of certificate and whether the issuer is publicly-known and valid.

Publicly-known issuers and their certificates are validated against a number of security and identity checks. Opera will warn you if some part of a publicly-known issuer's certificate is questionable. You may choose to proceed but Opera cannot guarantee your security.

To manage security certificates and how Opera handles them:

  1. Select Opera > Preferences.
  2. Click Privacy & security on the sidebar.
  3. Under HTTPS/SSL, click the Manage Certificates button.

A note about local certificate issuers

Some connections can be certified by certificates from local issuers, either from apps on your machine or other non-public sources (such as a local intranet). These issuers can be used to verify secured connections in the browser. Most of these connections are valid. For example, debugging applications, third-party security scanning, and parental filters may rely on locally-issued certificates.

Connections certified by certificates from local issuers aren't screened by the same security standards as publicly-known issuers and certificates. Such screening is too strict and may not allow connections to work as intended. Malware or viruses may use these certificates to view encrypted information or inject ads.

If you want, you can configure Opera to warn you about public sites that use certificates from local issuers. If you continue to browse on these connections, be aware that some security measures, such as certificate pinning and Certificate Transparency, will be disabled for all such connections during your browsing session.

Tell sites not to track your activity

Most sites track your behavior while you visit them. If you do not like this idea, Opera can send an additional header with every request: "DNT: 1". This is a flag to websites that the user does not want to be tracked. Some countries have DNT legislation that will legally protect your request and most well-behaved websites will respect this additional header.

You can set Opera to tell sites you prefer to opt-out of online behavioral tracking. To set this:

  1. Select Opera > Preferences.
  2. Click Privacy & security on the sidebar.
  3. Under Privacy, tick the Send a 'Do Not Track' request with your browsing traffic checkbox.