Stay secure with private browsing

private window

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

To browse privately, select New private window from the main menu. When you close all private windows, Opera will delete 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 main 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.

Use badges to determine page security and more

Opera warns you about suspicious webpages 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.

badge on the address bar

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.

accelerator badge iconAccelerated connection
camera badge iconCamera access
warning badge iconFraud or malware warning
document badge iconLocal file
drop pin badge iconLocation access
O badge iconOpera page
padlock badge iconSecure connection
empty circle badge iconUnprotected 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 webpages.

Why was my content blocked?

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.

What are security certificates?

Security certificates are used to verify that a website is secure to use. Most of the time certificates are fully valid and you can proceed safely with your browsing. If there is something questionable about a certificate, a warning dialog will be displayed. You may choose to proceed but full security cannot be guaranteed at this point.

security certificate in the address bar

There are essentially two levels of identity, Domain Validation (DV) and Extended Validation (EV) certificates.

DV certification meet minimum security requirements, and Opera displays these pages with a padlock security badge.

EV certification meets more rigourous requirements. Sites that meet these requirements will have padlock and accredited name next to the badge.

To manage security certificates and how your system handles them:

  1. From the main menu, select Settings.
  2. Click Privacy & security on the sidebar.
  3. Under HTTPS/SSL, click the Manage Certificates button.

Delete private data

To delete private data, select History from the main menu. This will help you delete traces of your browsing activity.

Clearing browsing history will delete any stored location information about the pages you have viewed - their locations 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 webpage 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 have 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 them, try private windows; the data for each private window is automatically deleted when you close the tab.

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

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 if you prefer to opt-out of online behavioral tracking. To set this:

  1. From the main menu, select Settings.
  2. Click Privacy & security on the sidebar.
  3. Under Privacy, tick the Send a 'Do Not Track' request with your browsing traffic checkbox.