@omendata the first section was in response to your:
opera is not a big target for malware writers???
that's where I had to redirect myself
All other browsers allow using custom search default as does Chrome so no opera is not chrome!
just because 1 small feature of Chromium is not allowed in Opera doesn't mean Opera is not Chromium
Opera is the ONLY secure version of Chromium, because as you can tell, the devs put in the extra effort to disable things that would otherwise be insecure in other browsers
on the topic of this thread however
Opera could simply encrypt the settings file with a non-exposed key and allow users to set custom search engines as default.
(Opera could simply decrypt the settings and re-encrypt them when updated)
doesn't take a genius to figure that out
... what, suggesting a basic security feature doesn't make me a genius.
what does make me a genius however is knowing not to use a backdoored encryption standard.
thanks to my stupid government backdooring secure encryption standards, we have to be aware of this now and find new actually secure standards
(it's a binary outcome, knowledgeable hackers can either enter that backdoor, or there's no backdoor for them to enter)