The Internet Health Report is Mozilla’s annual look at the state of the internet. Our 2020 compilation of research and stories explains what’s key to a healthier internet, from personal experience to global concerns. We believe that the internet is for all of us to shape and make healthier. And there’s a lot you can do to help.
What Can I Do?
Conduct a privacy audit
Privacy audits are not just for governments and companies. People should audit their privacy practices, too. Here are a few quick ways to protect yourself and your loved ones:
- Choose a browser for your phone, tablet and computer that puts privacy first. We’re partial to our own independent, non-profit backed browser, Firefox. It doesn’t have back doors for advertisers and is built for private browsing, but you have options.
- Check your phone apps. Apps can hang on every word and move you make. We recommend establishing boundaries: check your settings to see which apps have access to your location, camera, and microphone. Investigate who an app shares your data with — if this information is creepy or hard to find, maybe uninstall.
- Review your gadgets and household objects. Do you really want your coffee machine tracking your location and sharing personal data with third parties? Make sure privacy is included in the price tag, and review your setting options.
- Keep your messages private. Make sure you are the one who decides who can read your messages by using end-to-end encryption. Our favorites include indie tech players ProtonMail for email and Signal for messaging and voice-calling.
Care about what you share
When you encounter misinformation online, don’t engage. Commenting, “reacting,” or resharing (even when correcting information) draws more attention to it. Instead, report it directly to the platform or a fact-checking group in your region.
- Personal information
Some things that seem personal — a picture of a friend’s kid taken at your home, your personal DNA — have implications for other people’s privacy. Ask for consent to share data that impacts others, and always research who will have access to your personal data, for how long, and if you can reclaim it.
Engage on the issues
Thanks to countless local, national, and international organizations, there are lots of ways to take action to support a healthy internet and digital rights. There are far too many to list here, in fact, which is why we recommend searching for and connecting with groups that are active where you live, on topics that particularly interest you: Facial recognition? Algorithmic justice? Internet shutdowns? Misinfodemics? Sustainable internet?
Mozilla offers a number of ways to get involved, too. You can apply to be a fellow, support our advocacy campaigns, or join our Building Trustworthy AI Working Group. And you are invited to join us for the Mozilla Festival which takes place entirely online in March 2021. This year’s festival will have 11 ‘spaces’ that bring together people and projects around the world, including Shifting Power in Tech, Tech for Social Activism, and Openness.
You can join collaborative research projects like RegretsReporter to help flag regrettable content recommendations on YouTube, or lend your voice and ears to help Common Voice develop free and open source voice recognition technology in more languages.