Opera has decided to follow suit after Google Chrome regarding protection of users from potentially harmful third-party extensions. In a new blog post, Opera developers explained that starting Opera 12.50, the browser will block installation of extensions that do not originate from the official repository. Opera already alerts users when they try to install extensions outside addons.opera.com, but does not prevent the user from installing the extension. The alert is a mere message that warns the user that the extension is not located on the trusted source. A simple click on the “OK” button is enough to dismiss the alert box and proceed with the installation.
Opera developers now feel that current security measures are not enough.
Having studied how people install and use extensions we came to the conclusion that current security dialog is somewhat deficient, in that many users will simply click-through it and add new repositories to the trusted list, without fully understanding the consequences of such an action.
Starting Opera 12.50, the browser will proactively block installation of extensions from third-party websites. To install extensions from these websites, the user must add them to the list of trusted websites. While this doesn’t actually protect users from malicious extensions from untrusted websites, it does make installation of third-party extensions “require a little more thought”. Users who click “OK” out of habit will now have to pause and think whether they really want to take the risk of trusting an unknown website. The change also eliminates accidental additions.
To add URLs as Trusted Websites, follow these steps:
Click on the Opera button and then click on Preferences. Or just press Ctrl+F12. Move to the Advanced tab and then click on Security. Now click on the Trusted Websites button and add the URLs you wish to whitelist.
Once a URL has been added to the list of trusted websites, Opera will no longer prevent users from installing extensions from the site.
The new behavior has already been implemented on Opera Next 12.50.