Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies have suddenly become an important topic, and gain in their value has led to a surge in mining for new coins. Opera, the popular mobile browser, has added a new feature that will protect your devices against bitcoin mining.
While there are dedicated data centers for such cryptocurrency mining, some developers are increasingly using people’s computers and smartphones for mining and such activities are often carried out without their consent. Opera says this activity has been found to affect more than a billion people worldwide and has caused user devices to run warm and become slower. There are also reports of such activity eating up the batteries.
Opera recently introduced a feature that added protection against cryptocurrency mining scripts on its desktop browser and now it is extending the same feature to mobile browsers as well. The feature is activated by default when the user activates the ad blocker on Opera Mini and Opera for Android. The feature will automatically detect and stop the mining scripts written into the code of a webpage.
“When you browse the web, there are no visual clues that your device is exposed to mining. A single webpage you visit can take up to 4.5 hours of your battery time, if you keep the tab open. This often turns out to be just the battery time you needed to use a ride-hailing app or check the map to get home,” said Jan Standal, VP Product Marketing at Opera.
Opera has also created a website which safely checks whether your browser is affected by unwanted crypto mining. Users can go to www.cryptojackingtest.com on mobile or desktop to see if their device is affected by mining. Some reports suggest that more than three million websites are exposed to cryptojacking and that makes the need for extra protection bigger than ever.
Developers at Opera have determined that scripts mining for cryptocurrencies can increase CPU usage on smartphones by up to 100 percent. This can lead to faster battery drain and overheat the phone. The only way to prevent and ensure smooth functioning of devices is by blocking mining scripts.