The Web may be filled with information, some of which we may have wished never came to light, but it has also become a scarier place as well. Never mind the “dark web” and hackers and spies, even companies seem to be out to get you, or at least your information. Web browser makers like Google and Mozilla are stepping up in this game of cat and mouse, blocking ads and cookies that don’t play nice. Opera is joining the chorus with an addition to its arsenal of privacy tools which it is only too happy to remind users comes built into the desktop browser and, better yet, available for free.
Just like Chrome and Firefox, Opera has long been boasting of a few tools to reduce not just the nuisance of ads but also their potentially harmful effects. Until recently, however, ad blockers have been more of third-party addons before browser makers wised up and crafted their own. Opera, in contrast, boasts it has been there first.
This time, though, it’s just a wee bit behind. It is finally adding a new option to block third-party tracking cookies. These are the cookies that the site owners themselves don’t control and can’t use and violate the privacy of users even after leaving the site.
Like ad blocking, the new tracker blocker can be easily found in the main menu. After enabling it, however, users are still free to turn it on or off on a per-site basis, for those stubborn pages that break without ads or third-party cookies.
Opera also boasts of other privacy features including the usual incognito mode and even a built-in free and unlimited VPN. The latter might become a selling point for Opera once Mozilla rolls out its own VPN as a paid subscription service.