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The Tech Talk

Mozilla Blog - di, 06/09/2022 - 18:18
The internet is a great place for families. It gives us new opportunities to discover the world, connect with others and just generally make our lives easier and more colorful.

But it also comes with new challenges and complications for the people raising the next generations. Mozilla wants to help families make the best online decisions, whatever that looks like, with our latest series, The Tech Talk.

 The Tech Talk Talk to your kids about online safety Get tips An illustration shows a silhouette of a child surrounded by emojis. Concerned about screen time?

Here’s what experts are saying.

 Set up new passwords. Check your devices' privacy settings. Protect your child's browsing information. Discuss parental controls with the whole family. Have the "tech talk." A back-to-school checklist for online safety

This school year, make the best use of the internet while staying safe.

A child smiles while using a table computer. Are parental controls the answer to keeping kids safe online?

There are a few things to consider before giving parental controls a go.

An illustration shows three columns containing newspaper icons along with social media icons. 5 ways to fight misinformation on your social feed

Slow your scroll with this guide that we created with the News Literacy Project and the Teens for Press Freedom.

Ten young people lean on a wall looking down at their phones. A little less misinformation, a little more action

How do teens engage with information on social media? We asked them.

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Slow your scroll: 5 ways to fight misinformation on your social feed

Mozilla Blog - vr, 26/08/2022 - 17:02
An illustration shows three columns containing newspaper icons along with social media icons.Credit: Nick Velazquez / Mozilla

The news is overwhelming. Attention spans are waning. Combine those with social media feeds that are optimized for endless scrolling, and we get an internet where misinformation thrives. 

In many ways, consuming news has become a social act. We get to share what we’re reading and thinking through social media. Other people respond with their own thoughts and opinions. Algorithms pick up on all of this activity, and soon enough, our feeds feed us what to consume next – one after another. While it could be actual news and accurate information, often, it’s an opinionated take, inaccuracy or even propaganda. 

Of course, the internet also connects us with reliable sources. But when it comes to social media, it becomes a matter of whether or not we actually stop scrolling and take the time to verify what we’re seeing and hearing. So, how can we fight misinformation in our never-ending feeds? Consider these five tips.

 The Tech Talk Talk to your kids about online safety Get tips 1. Filter out the aesthetics

Cool infographic catch your eye? Know that it’s probably designed to do just that: grab our attention. Same with content from creators we love. One day they’re dancing, the next they’re giving us health advice. Before taking what we see and hear at face value, we should ask ourselves the 5 Ws:

  • Who is posting? Are they the original source of the information? If not, who is?
  • What is the subject of the post? Is it the source’s expertise or are they relaying something they experienced first-hand?
  • When was it posted? Is the information still relevant today, or have circumstances changed?
  • If it’s an image or a video, where is the event that’s depicted located?
  • Why did they post it? Are they trying to sell you something or gain your support in any way?
2. If something sparks emotion, take a beat

Shocking images and videos can spread quickly on social media. It doesn’t mean we can’t trust them, but it does mean that stakes are higher when they turn out to be misleading or manipulated. 

Before hitting that like or share button, consider what might happen if that turns out to be the case. How would sharing false information affect us, other people or the larger world? Emotions can cloud our judgment, especially when a topic feels personal, so just taking a moment to let our critical thinking kick in can often do the trick.

3. Know when it’s time to dig deeper

There can be obvious signs of misinformation. Think typos, grammatical errors and clear alteration of images or videos. But many times, it’s hard to tell. Is it a screenshot of an article with no link, or footage of a large protest? Does the post address a polarizing topic? 

It might even take an expert like an investigative journalist, fact-checker or researcher to figure out whether a piece of media has been manipulated or if a post is the product of a sophisticated disinformation campaign. That’s when knowing how to find experts’ work — trustworthy sources — comes in handy. 

4. Report misinformation

If you’ve determined that something is false, report it in the app. Social media companies often rely on users to flag misleading and dangerous content, so take an extra but impactful step to help make sure others don’t fall for misinformation. 

5. Feed your curiosity – outside the feed

Real talk: Our attention spans are getting shorter, and learning about the world through quick, visual content can be more entertaining than reading. That’s OK! Still, we should give ourselves some time to explore what piques our interests outside of our social media apps.

Hear something outrageous? Look up news articles and learn more, maybe you can even do something about it. Concerned about vaccines, a pandemic or another public health emergency? Educate yourself and see what your local health officials are saying. Feel strongly about a topic everyone’s talking about online? Start a conversation about it in real life. Our screens give us a window to the larger world, but looking up to notice what’s right in front of us can be pretty great too. 

This guide was created in partnership with the News Literacy Project and the Teens for Press Freedom. The News Literacy Project, a nonpartisan education nonprofit, is building a national movement to advance the practice of news literacy throughout American society, creating better informed, more engaged and more empowered individuals — and ultimately a stronger democracy. The Teens for Press Freedom is a national, youth-led organization dedicated to promoting freedom of the press and factual literacy among teens.

The internet is a great place for families. It gives us new opportunities to discover the world, connect with others and just generally make our lives easier and more colorful. But it also comes with new challenges and complications for the people raising the next generations. Mozilla wants to help families make the best online decisions, whatever that looks like, with our latest series, The Tech Talk.

Firefox browser logo Get Firefox Get the browser that protects what’s important

The post Slow your scroll: 5 ways to fight misinformation on your social feed appeared first on The Mozilla Blog.

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Firefox Presents: Feeling alive with the ‘Stoke King’

Mozilla Blog - vr, 26/08/2022 - 16:49

If you could use a little hyping up to go outside, look no further than Wade Holland’s social media feeds. A former competitive skier from Montana, Holland encourages people to find their “stoke” – whether that’s by going on a mountain bike ride, rollerblading, or just feeling the sun on your skin.

“It can be finding a little park right behind your house and singing and dancing in it,” Holland said. “You don’t have to hike Everest. You can do whatever elevates your stoke!”

Now based in Los Angeles, the 34-year-old content creator calls himself a “stoke king.” His vibe is that of a very enthusiastic personal trainer, except you’ll see his outfit from a mile away, the gym is nature, and he’s training you to amp your zest for life all the way up to 11. 


Did you know nature can give you Superpowers? #naturetiktok #stoke #getoutside #treehugger #ilovenature #neature #skydio @skydio #skydio2

♬ Jurassic Park Theme – Voidoid

Holland is his own personal success story. Years of injuries made him rethink his goal of becoming a professional skier. While filming a backcountry skiing video with a crew at 21, he flew about 60 feet and landed on his hip on a rock, shattering his femur. He had to be rescued through a helicopter and taken into surgery, during which he had a titanium rod placed in his leg. 

“I almost didn’t make it back from that,” Holland said. 

While the injury didn’t stop him from being active outdoors, he had to scale back. 

“It made me realize that maybe what I’m better at is getting other people excited about what I love so much,” he said. “That led me to a path of creating content that helps people get to a destination and feel good about themselves doing it.”

Holland’s mission became convincing people that anyone can go outside and enjoy nature, wherever they are and whatever their ability. No sleek cycling suit, surfboard or ski poles needed.

After years of consistently producing content, his ability to get people just as excited as he is has paid off. Wade’s motivational adventure posts have drawn 38,500 followers on TikTok and 213,000 on Instagram, where he met his partner Abby Wren, who’s a makeup content creator. 

Wade Holland holds up his hands, wearing gloves that read "stoked."Photo: Nita Hong for Mozilla

Holland had been booked to host an event  in Victoria, Canada. Always on the lookout for opportunities to collaborate, he searched #contentcreators and found Wren, a fellow Montana native. He asked her if she wanted to meet up. She agreed and asked to meet in Vancouver.

But the ferry wasn’t running that day, and sea planes were fully booked. Holland, not wanting to miss the chance to meet Wren, persuaded a helicopter company to help.

“I said, ‘Hey, this is kind of wild, but I’m trying to meet this woman who could be my future wife.’ I showed them a picture of Abby and told them that if they let me get on this helicopter, I’ll make them a 30-second video,” Wade recalled. “They said, ‘Wow, we’ve never been pitched that idea, this seems so outlandish. But this is going to be a hell of a story. Get on.’”

Holland and Wren have been together ever since, and they plan on getting married next year. His life changed because of his excitement to meet a woman he’s never met, and he got others to feel as thrilled as he was. 

“Each day I’m reminded how much life is a gift,” Holland said. “That it’s my responsibility to squeeze the most out of every day I have on this planet, bring my passion and enthusiasm to connect with my community online, and inspire them to get outside and stay stoked.”

Firefox is exploring all the ways the internet makes our planet an awesome place. Almost everything we do today ties back to the online world in some way — so, join us in highlighting the funny, weird, inspiring and courageous stories that remind us why we love the world wide web.

Wade Holland smiles at the camera. Get the browser that makes a difference Download Firefox

The post Firefox Presents: Feeling alive with the ‘Stoke King’ appeared first on The Mozilla Blog.

Categorieën: Mozilla-nl planet

A little less misinformation, a little more action

Mozilla Blog - do, 25/08/2022 - 16:57
Ten young people lean on a wall looking down at their phones.Credit: Nick Velazquez / Mozilla

As each generation comes of age, they challenge the norms that came before them. If you were to ask most people their go-to way to search, they would mention a search engine. But for Gen Z, TikTok has become one of the most popular ways to find information.

Adrienne Sheares, a social media strategist and a millennial who grew up relying on search engines, had difficulty grasping the habit. So, she spoke with a small group of Gen Zers and reported what she heard in a recent Twitter thread.

Among her learnings: Young people are drawn to content TikTok curates for them, they prefer watching quick videos over reading, and they know misinformation exists and “will avoid content on the platform that can easily be false.” Sheares’ thread went viral. Her curiosity resonated, especially for people with habits very different to those of Gen Z’s.  

As part of our mission at Mozilla, we’re working to support families in having a healthy relationship with the internet. That includes an online experience where young people are equipped to cut through the noise – including misinformation. So we wanted to learn more about how Gen Z consumes the news, and how families can encourage curiosity about current events without shutting out social media. After all, while it may be rife with misinformation, it’s still an essential platform for many teens to connect with their peers.

We spoke with members of Teens for Press Freedom, a youth-led organization that advocates for news literacy among teenagers. We asked Sofia, Agatha, Charlotte, Eloise and Kevin – who are all in their teens – about how they engage with information on social media, their concerns about algorithms and how we can help Gen Zers fight misinformation. Here’s what they said. 

 The Tech Talk Talk to your kids about online safety Get tips Gen Zers are vocal about their values

The way we consume news has become intrinsically social. People start sharing the news they’re consuming because that’s what you do on Instagram and other platforms. People say, “Hey, I’m reading this and therefore, I fit into this educated part of political American life. I have a real opinion that’s very valid.” Everyone wants to feel like they’re part of that group.


Agatha, co-director of Teens for Press Freedom, first took notice of how news spreads on Instagram in 2020, when she was 14. 

“There was this post about Palestine and Israel that was incredibly antisemitic,” Agatha recalled. “It was sort of convincing people that they should be antisemitic. That obviously isn’t right. I’m Jewish, and I felt like the post associated Jewish people with the actions of Israel’s government. That felt like misinformation because I didn’t do anything. It seemed to blame people who have never even lived in Israel.”

She started seeing more and more posts with misinformation about other issues, including COVID-19, the Black Lives Matter protests and violence against Asian Americans. “People were sharing them because it looked cool, like they were doing the right thing by spreading these infographics and letting their thousands of followers know about these incidents,” Agatha said.

Many young people want to publicly express their values. However, they run into a problem in the way they do it. 

“People weren’t making sure that the information they were spreading was actually correct and not just something somebody had written, copied into a graphic and sent it out to the world,” Agatha said. 

Charlotte, who co-founded Teens for Press Freedom and is now an incoming freshman at Dartmouth College, said many people fall into a trap of “virtue signaling.”

“The way we consume news has become intrinsically social,” Charlotte said. “People start sharing the news they’re consuming because that’s what you do on Instagram and other platforms. People say, ‘Hey, I’m reading this and therefore, I fit into this educated part of political American life. I have a real opinion that’s very valid.’ Everyone wants to feel like they’re part of that group.”

The infinite feed has shaped Gen Z’s online habits

There’s something about the endless scroll that is so compelling to people.


Facebook launched in 2004, YouTube in 2005, Twitter in 2006, Instagram in 2010 and Snapchat in 2011. Millennials came of age as those platforms exploded. Gen Zers – those born after 1996, or people 25 and younger, as classified by the Pew Research Center – don’t remember a time when the internet wasn’t a major means of personal communication and media consumption.

Social media feeds favor information presented succinctly, so users can quickly move on to the next post one after another. TikTok, launched in 2016, has “hacked that algorithm so well,” Charlotte said. “Now, everyone’s using it. There’s YouTube Shorts, Instagram Reels, Netflix Fast Laughs. There’s something about the endless scroll that is so compelling to people. That just invites us to spend hours and hours learning about the world in that way.”

Teens today have lived most of their lives in that world, and it has affected how they consume the news.

Short attention spans fuel misinformation

When I’m listening to music, I can’t get myself to sit through a full song without skipping to the next one. Consuming things is just what we’re programmed to do.


Many teens know how to confirm facts through resources on the internet. That’s thanks to ongoing efforts by educators who include verifying information in their lesson plans. 

Kevin, workshop team director at Teens for Press Freedom, recently saw a post on Instagram purportedly about a California bill that would allow late-term abortions. “I looked it up because I was curious,” he said. He quickly learned that the law doesn’t actually propose that. 

The issue, Kevin said, is taking the time to fact-check. 

“We’re a generation constantly fed and fed and fed and given things to consume,” said Eloise, advocacy director at Teens for Press Freedom. “Our attention spans are significantly lower than generations before us. When I’m listening to music, I can’t get myself to sit through a full song without skipping to the next one. Consuming things is just what we’re programmed to do.”

That may be why many Gen Zers prefer watching short videos to learn information instead of reading articles.

“People feel like reading the news is not something to prioritize when they can just look at headlines,” Agatha said. “A lot of newspapers have an audio link now so people listen to it instead. Or it’ll say five-minute read, and people will take five minutes to read it. But they don’t want to spend 10, 20 minutes informing themselves on what’s happening to the world.”

News events become more engaging on social media with flashy imagery and content that highlights the outrageous. While this means platforms have become a breeding ground for misinformation, there’s also a silver lining: Younger generations have become more motivated than ever to engage in issues they care about.

Teens are aware about the power of algorithms

We find that [algorithms are] kind of abusing our personal information.


While many Gen Zers feel equipped to figure out what’s real or not on social media, algorithms that feed users content curated to each individual are hurting their ability to slow down and choose what they consume. 

“A lot of misinformation are half-truths, like it’s almost believable enough that you can accept it without doing any extra research,” said Sofia, a high school junior and co-director of Teens for Press Freedom. “You go to TikTok to be entertained, and if that entertainment is inundated with misleading information, you’re consuming it without knowing you’re consuming it.”

The teens expressed concern about algorithm-based technologies being tested on young people. Kevin sees it as “abusing their personal information.” Being fed posts based on each person’s interests can create a distorted ecosystem of content that includes misleading, even manipulative, information.

“You’re sucked into this world of people you don’t know, and you see all these different ideas and things that are your interests, and you spend hours and hours on there,” Agatha said. “Their ideas sort of become yours. Your opinion then becomes TikTok’s opinion and vice versa.”

Sofia said this has contributed to the loss of productive conversation around politics: “Algorithms are not only creepy. It’s really damaging not just to the individual but to the political situation in the United States. People are only seeing content that aligns with their beliefs.”

Charlotte said, “There’s this rhetoric about how Gen Z is the most informed generation because of social media, and in many ways that’s true. But social media isn’t really the great democratizer. There’s [also] a lot we don’t know because of these algorithms.”

There are ways to help younger generations fight misinformation

Rather than being talked at, [teens] can talk to each other about issues.


While education about trustworthy sources needs to continue through school, the group said we need to expand the conversation to social media. 

“A lot of people our age think that being critical of sources is something school-related,” Kevin said. “People will say something like, ‘I saw this on TikTok, and then you know, very non-reluctantly quote social media as a source of information.”

Applying the process of verifying information on social media means facilitating discussions among people who consume content in similar ways. 

“Rather than being talked at, they can talk to each other about issues,” Sofia said. “If they’re convinced by someone their own age that what they’re experiencing is not something that they alone have to go through, or that they alone have to figure out a solution, that makes the whole thing a lot easier to confront.”

For parents, this can mean finding peer-to-peer resources for their kids like Teens for Press Freedom’s misinformation workshops. Families can also have real conversations with their children about their values and issues they care about, encouraging curiosity instead of avoiding complicated topics. 

Ultimately, adults can use their power to support efforts to make the internet a better place – one where technology doesn’t use children’s data against them. Young people will tell us what they need if we ask. We can’t let algorithms do that work for us.  

The internet is a great place for families. It gives us new opportunities to discover the world, connect with others and just generally make our lives easier and more colorful. But it also comes with new challenges and complications for the people raising the next generations. Mozilla wants to help families make the best online decisions, whatever that looks like, with our latest series, The Tech Talk.

Firefox browser logo Get Firefox Get the browser that protects what’s important

The post A little less misinformation, a little more action appeared first on The Mozilla Blog.

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How Firefox’s Total Cookie Protection and container extensions work together

Mozilla Blog - di, 23/08/2022 - 21:52

When we recently announced the full public roll-out of Firefox Total Cookie Protection — a new default browser feature that automatically confines cookies to the websites that created them, thus eliminating the most common method that sites use to track you around the web — it raised a question: Do container extensions like Mozilla’s Facebook Container and Multi-Account Containers still serve a purpose, since they similarly perform anti-tracking functions by suppressing cookie trails?

In short, yes. Container extensions offer additional benefits even beyond the sweeping new privacy enhancements introduced with Firefox Total Cookie Protection.

Total Cookie Protection + container extensions = enhanced anti-tracking 

Total Cookie Protection isolates cookies from each website you visit, so Firefox users now receive comprehensive cookie suppression wherever they go on the web. 

However, Total Cookie Protection does not isolate cookies from different open tabs under the same domain. So for instance, if you have Google Shopping open in one tab, Gmail in another, and Google News in a third, Google will know you have all three pages open and connect their cookie trails. 

Total Cookie Protection creates a separate cookie jar for each website you visit. (Illustration: Meghan Newell)

But with a container extension, you can isolate cookies even within parts or pages of the same domain. You could have Gmail open in one container tab and Google Shopping and News in other containers (for instance, under different accounts) and Google will be oblivious to their relation. 

Beyond this added privacy protection, container extensions are most useful as an easy means of separating different parts of your online life (e.g. personal, work) within the same browser. 

A couple reasons you might want Multi-Account Containers installed on Firefox… 

  • Avoid logging in and out of different accounts under the same web platform; for example, with containers you could have separate instances of Slack open at the same time — one for work, another for friends. 
  • If multiple family members or roommates share Firefox on one computer, each person can easily access their own container with a couple clicks.

While, technically, you can create a Facebook container within Multi-Account Containers, the Facebook Container extension is intended to provide a simple, targeted solution for so many Facebook users concerned about the pervasive ways the social media behemoth tracks you around the web. 

Facebook tracks your online moves outside of Facebook through the various widgets you find embedded ubiquitously around the web (e.g. “Like” buttons or Facebook comments on articles, social share features, etc.). The convenience of automatic sign-in when you visit Facebook is because of cookies. However, this convenience comes at a steep privacy cost — those same cookies can tell Facebook about any page you visit associated with one of its embedded features. 

But with Facebook Container installed on Firefox, you maintaIn the convenience of automatic Facebook sign-in while cutting off the cookie trail to other sites you visit outside of Facebook. 

So if you want superior anti-tracking built right into your browser, plus the enhanced privacy protections and organizational convenience of containers, install a container extension on Firefox and rest easy knowing your cookie trails aren’t exposed. 

Firefox browser logo Get Firefox Get the browser that protects what’s important

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Announcing Steve Teixeira, Mozilla’s new Chief Product Officer

Mozilla Blog - ma, 15/08/2022 - 18:30

I am pleased to share that Steve Teixeira has joined Mozilla as our Chief Product Officer. During our search for a Chief Product Officer, Steve stood out to us because of his extensive experience at tech and internet companies where he played instrumental roles in shaping products from research, design, security, development, and getting them out to market.

Steve Teixeira joins Mozilla executive team. Steve was photographed in Redmond, Wash., August 5, 2022.
(Photo by Dan DeLong for Mozilla)

As Chief Product Officer, Steve will be responsible for leading our product teams. This will include setting a product vision and strategy that accelerates the growth and impact of our existing products and setting the foundation for new product development.  His product management and technical expertise as well as his leadership experience are the right fit to lead our product teams into Mozilla’s next chapter. 

“There are few opportunities today to build software that is unambiguously good for the world while also being loveable for customers and great for business,” said Teixeira. “I see that potential in Firefox, Pocket, and the rest of the Mozilla product family. I’m also excited about being a part of the evolution of the product family that comes from projecting Mozilla’s evergreen principles through a modern lens to solve some of today’s most vexing challenges for people on the internet.”

Steve comes to us most recently from Twitter, where he spent eight months as a Vice President of Product for their Machine Learning and Data platforms. Prior to that, Steve led Product Management, Design and Research in Facebook’s Infrastructure organization. He also spent almost 14 years at Microsoft where he was responsible for the Windows third-party software ecosystems and held leadership roles in Windows IoT, Visual Studio and the Technical Computing Group. Steve also held a variety of engineering roles at small and medium-sized companies in the Valley in spaces like developer tools, endpoint security, mobile computing, and professional services. 

Steve will report to me and sit on the steering committee.

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Why I joined Mozilla’s Board of Directors

Mozilla Blog - wo, 10/08/2022 - 18:00

I first started working with digitalization and the internet when I became CEO of Scandinavia Online in 1998. It was the leading online service in the Nordics and we were pioneers and idealists. I learnt a lot from that experience: the endless opportunities, the tricky business models and the extreme ups and downs in hypes and busts of evaluation. I also remember Mozilla during that time as a beacon of competence and idealism, as well as a champion for the open internet as a force for good.

kristin skogen lund mozilla board memberKristin Skogen Lund

Since those early days I have worked in the media industry, telecoms and interest organizations. Today I serve as CEO of Schibsted, the leading Nordic-based media company (which initially started Scandinavia Online back in the days). We own and operate around 70 digital consumer brands across media, online marketplaces, financial services, price comparison services and technology ventures. Within the global industry, we were known as one of the few traditional media companies that adapted to the digital world early on by disrupting our business model and gaining a position in the digital landscape early.

I am deeply engaged in public policy and I serve as president of the European Tech Alliance (EUTA), comprising the leading tech companies of Europe. We work to influence and improve the EU’s digital regulation and to ensure an optimal breeding ground for European digital entrepreneurship. This work is essential as our societies depend upon technology being a force for good, something that cannot be taken for granted, nor is it always the case.

I take great honor in serving on the board of Mozilla to help promote its vision and work to diversify and expand to new audiences and services. It is exciting to serve on the board of a US-based company with such strong roots and that has been an inspiration for me these past 25 years.

The process of meeting board members and management has strengthened my impression of a very capable and engaged team. To build on past successes is never easy, but in Mozilla’s case it is all the more important — not just for Mozilla, but for the health of the internet and thus our global community. I look very much forward to being part of, and contributing to, that tremendous endeavor.

The post Why I joined Mozilla’s Board of Directors appeared first on The Mozilla Blog.

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A back-to-school checklist for online safety

Mozilla Blog - do, 04/08/2022 - 18:00

The first day of school is right around the corner. Whether that brings some relief, gives you jitters or both, we’re here to support families with one major thing: internet safety.  

For parents, thinking about the dangers of the web can be scary. But it doesn’t have to be. While the internet isn’t perfect, it’s also a wonderful place for learning and connecting with others. Here’s what families can do to make the best of it while staying safe this school year. 

 Set up new passwords. Check your devices' privacy settings. Protect your child's browsing information. Discuss parental controls with the whole family. Have the "tech talk."Credit: Nick Velazquez / Mozilla 1. Set up new passwords

Back-to-school season is a good time to update passwords, since students often log in to the same learning tools they use at home and on campus. It’s important to teach kids the basics of password hygiene, including keeping passwords in a safe place and regularly changing them. 

2. Check your devices’ privacy settings 

Whether you have a preschooler who uses the family tablet to watch videos or a kid who’s finally ready for a phone, make sure to set up these devices with data privacy in mind. Figure out – together, if possible – which information they’re sharing with the apps they use. 

Have a school-issued device? Take the time to look into the settings, and don’t be afraid to ask teachers and school administrators about how the tools and software used in classrooms are handling students’ data.

3. Protect your child’s browsing information

An investigation by The Markup, in collaboration with Mozilla Rally, exposed how federal financial aid applications automatically sent students’ personal information to Facebook – even if a student didn’t have a Facebook account. It’s just one example of how invasive big tech’s data tracking has become. One way to cut the amount of information companies are collecting about your kid is by protecting their internet browsing data. 

Firefox has Total Cookie Protection on by default to all users. That means that when your child visits a website, cookies (which store bits of information a page remembers about them), stays within that website and out of the hands of companies that want to track their online behavior and target them with ads. 

How to make Firefox the default browser on a desktop computer:

  • If you haven’t already, download Firefox and open the app. 
  • In the menu bar at the top of the screen, click on Firefox > Preferences.
  • In the general panel, click on the Make Default button.

How to make Firefox the default browser on mobile:

  • Download Firefox.
  • On an iOS device, go to settings, scroll down and click on Firefox > Default Browser App > Firefox
  • On an Android, open the app. Click on the menu button next to the address bar > Settings > Set as default browser > Firefox for Android > Set as default.

Find more information about setting Firefox as the default browser on iOS and Android here.

Make Firefox your default browser on mobile. 4. Discuss parental controls with the whole family

Relying on parental control settings to limit kids’ screen time and block websites may be tempting. But no tool can completely protect kids online. One thing that researchers and advocates agree on when it comes to technology: open communication. Parents should talk to their children about whether or not they need to use parental controls and why. They should also figure out a plan to ease restrictions as kids learn how to manage themselves online. 

Ready for that conversation? Here are some Firefox extensions to consider with your family: 

  • Unhook
    Specific to YouTube, Unhook strips away a lot of the distracting “rabbit role” elements of the site, including suggested videos, trending content and comments. 
  • Tomato Clock
    Based on a renowned time management method (Pomodoro technique), this extension helps a user focus on the computer by breaking up work intervals into defined “tomato” bursts. While this productivity extension could benefit anyone, parents might find it useful for helping kids stay focused during online school time.
  • Block Site
    Try this add-on if your family has agreed to implement restrictions on specific websites. With its password control feature, not only can parents continue to visit these websites, but they can also leave custom display messages if their kid tries to access a restricted site (“Busted! Shouldn’t you be doing homework?”) as well as redirect from one site to another (e.g. to a public library website).

If you’re new to extensions, you can learn more here

5. Have the “tech talk”

Of course, besides weak passwords and school work distractions, there’s plenty of age-appropriate topics that parents may want to talk to their children about. “It helps to talk about values first, then think through together – in developmentally appropriate ways, based on a child’s life stage – how to put those values into practice,” said Leah A. Plunkett, a Harvard Law School lecturer who teaches a course on youth and digital citizenship.

Another idea: Consider putting what your family has agreed upon on paper and have everyone sign it. Or, use a template like Common Sense Media‘s or this one, which also list items that parents can agree to do, like recognizing the role media plays in their kids’ lives, even if they don’t fully understand it.

Like with any other aspect of parenting, providing kids safe and healthy experiences online is more complicated than it seems. The process won’t be perfect, but learning together – with help from trusted sources – can go a long way. 

The internet is a great place for families. It gives us new opportunities to discover the world, connect with others and just generally make our lives easier and more colorful. But it also comes with new challenges and complications for the people raising the next generations. Mozilla wants to help families make the best online decisions, whatever that looks like, with our latest series, The Tech Talk.

 The Tech Talk Talk to your kids about online safety Get tips

The post A back-to-school checklist for online safety appeared first on The Mozilla Blog.

Categorieën: Mozilla-nl planet

Riot Games’ head of player community, known as ‘Aureylian’ to game streaming fans, on her favorite corners of the internet

Mozilla Blog - vr, 29/07/2022 - 18:00

Here at Mozilla, we are the first to admit the internet isn’t perfect, but we are also quick to point out that the internet is pretty darn magical. The internet opens up doors and opportunities, allows for people to connect with others, and lets everyone find where they belong — their corners of the internet. We all have an internet story worth sharing. In My Corner Of The Internet, we talk with people about the online spaces they can’t get enough of, what we should save in Pocket to read later, and what sites and forums shaped them.

This month we chat with Erin Wayne, who’s known as “Aureylian” in the game streaming community and now the global head of player community for Riot Games. She talks about what she’s reading, how she launched a YouTube career by accident and what we can all learn from gamers.

What is your favorite corner of the internet?

I love baking, party planning, and all things crafty, so I’m a daily Pinterest and Etsy user. Right now, my mom and I are renovating a cabin built in the 1950s, so finding vintage items and inspiration to update our little piece of the world while retaining the original charm has been such a fun side project. I also find a lot of enjoyment supporting local/small business owners, and these are great ways to do that!

What is an internet deep dive that you can’t wait to jump back into? 

I love history and have recently become really invested in the time period leading up to the reign of Elizabeth I of England. To me, she’s one of the most fascinating people in history, and the period leading up to her reign is something I’m really excited about learning through historical records and documentation in addition to the many intriguing movies and TV shows about her life.

What is the one tab you always regret closing? 

My calendar! Between being a mom and running four global teams, I live by my calendar. I am lost without it!

What can you not stop talking about on the internet right now? 

Scotland. I’m going to be in Scotland this summer and I know that it will be an absolutely once-in-a-lifetime experience. I’m part Scottish by heritage, but it’s also a beautiful country, with incredible people, great food, deep history, and the most breathtaking sights. By sharing what I experience there, I hope it inspires others to go and take part in the culture.

What was the first online community you engaged with? 

Though I played World of Warcraft starting in 2005, I played with local friends and at LAN parties, not truly connected to guilds or an online community. It wasn’t really until 2012 when I began reaching out to people on Twitter to join a WoW-inspired Minecraft server I helped create that I really got into online communities. That in turn accidentally launched my YouTube career and ultimately is why I’m where I am today!

What articles and videos are in your Pocket waiting to be read/watched right now? 

Right now on my list, I’ve got a few lined up. As a woman in the gaming industry, I can’t wait to read “Pioneer Rediscovered: The Woman Who Brought Female Representation to Games.” I’m also a huge history lover, so I’ve saved “A History of the Smile Through Art, Culture and Etiquette”. Since our team recently onboarded about 20 new people, I’m also really interested in what the Harvard Business Review wrote regarding retaining employees, “The Key to Retaining Young Workers? Better Onboarding.”

What do you think the future of gaming will look like?

I think gaming companies are starting to finally understand that gamers, like all people, are multifaceted. We like games, but we also like music, TV, sports and fashion. The list goes on, and I’d expect gaming companies to start diversifying how they engage with their players to continue serving them in all of these places. That’s why I joined Riot. I believe Riot is at the forefront of innovating what it means to be a community-driven, player-focused game company that doesn’t just provide meaningful gaming experiences for players, but also serves them with countless opportunities to engage with its [intellectual property] across different lifestyles.

Generally speaking, I also expect games to continue focusing on the community aspect in-product to drive connection between people. Coming out of the pandemic, I hope industries outside of gaming start to understand what gamers always have: that connecting with each other in valuable and meaningful ways can, and does, happen digitally. I met my husband and best friends through social media/gaming and even my dad has found ways to move his tabletop games online to stay in touch with his lifelong friends during the pandemic. It’s one of the most personal and meaningful connections we have, free from the overwhelming nature of social media’s likes, comments, shares and virality to let us get back to the fundamentals of purely connecting with each other.

If you could create your own corner of the internet what would it look like? 

Probably a lot like my Pinterest boards (lol). It’s a great way to share what I’m working on or projects I want to start, the things I’ve been cooking (honestly, I wish Pinterest would put more effort into the “tried it” feature), places I want to travel, and funny or inspiring images, memes, and graphic design I’ve loved. Also, lots of Leslie Knope and Ted Lasso quotes.

Erin “Aureylian” Wayne is the global head of player community for Riot Games, overseeing community engagement across all of Riot’s titles including League of Legends, one of the most-played competitive video games in the world. She also leads the development of strategies and programming for Riot’s interactions with players across the globe related to community, editorial, influencer management and social media. Prior to Riot, Erin spent seven years at Twitch, where she created and led their community and creator marketing teams, which focused on engaging, exciting, and educating Twitch users.

The post Riot Games’ head of player community, known as ‘Aureylian’ to game streaming fans, on her favorite corners of the internet appeared first on The Mozilla Blog.

Categorieën: Mozilla-nl planet

Mozilla Privacy Blog: Mozilla submits comments in OSTP consultation on privacy-preserving data sharing

Mozilla planet - wo, 27/07/2022 - 15:40

Earlier this month, the US Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) asked stakeholders to contribute to the development of a national strategy for “responsibly harnessing privacy-preserving data sharing and analytics to benefit individuals and society.” This effort offers a much-needed opportunity to advance privacy in online advertising, an industry that has not seen improvement in many years.

In our comments, we set out the work that Mozilla has undertaken over the past decade to shape the evolution of privacy preserving advertising, both in our products, and in how we engage with regulators and standards bodies.

Mozilla has often outlined that the current state of the web is not sustainable, particularly how online advertising works today. The ecosystem is broken. It’s opaque by design, rife with fraud, and does not serve the vast majority of those which depend on it – most importantly, the people who use the open web. The ways in which advertising is conducted today – through pervasive tracking, serial privacy violations, market consolidation, and lack of transparency – are not working and cause more harm than good.

At Mozilla, we’ve been working to drive the industry in a better direction through technical solutions. However, technical work alone can’t address disinformation, discrimination, societal manipulation, privacy violations, and more. A complementary regulatory framework is necessary to mitigate the most egregious practices in the ecosystem and ensure that the outcomes of such practices (discrimination, electoral manipulation, etc.) are untenable under law rather than due to selective product policy enforcement.

Our vision is a web which empowers individuals to make informed choices without their privacy and security being compromised.  There is a real opportunity now to improve the privacy properties of online advertising. We must draw upon the internet’s founding principles of transparency, public participation, and innovation. We look forward to seeing how OSTP’s national strategy progresses this vision.

The post Mozilla submits comments in OSTP consultation on privacy-preserving data sharing appeared first on Open Policy & Advocacy.

Categorieën: Mozilla-nl planet

Mozilla Thunderbird: Thunderbird Time Machine, 2003: A Look Back At Thunderbird 0.1

Mozilla planet - ma, 25/07/2022 - 14:43

Let’s take a walk down memory lane to the summer of 2003. Linkin Park, 50 Cent, and Evanescence have top-selling new albums. Apple’s iPod hasn’t even sold 1 million units. Mozilla’s new web browser used to be called Phoenix, but now it’s called Firebird. And a new cross-platform, open-source application called Thunderbird has debuted from the foundations of Mozilla Mail

Because the entirety of Thunderbird’s releases and corresponding release notes have been preserved, I’ve started a self-guided tour of Thunderbird’s history. Why? A mixture of personal and technical curiosity. I used Thunderbird for a couple years in the mid-2000s, and again more recently, but there are giant gaps in my experience. So I’m revisiting every single major version to discover the nuances between releases; the changes big and small.

(If you ever get the craving to do the same, I’ve found the easiest operating system to use is Windows, preferably inside a virtual machine. Early versions of Thunderbird for Macs were built for PowerPC architecture, while early Linux versions were 32-bit only. Both may cause you headaches with modern PC hardware!)

3-Pane Mail Layout: A Solid Foundation!

Below is my screenshot of Thunderbird 0.1 running on a Windows 11 virtual machine.

The first thing you’re probably thinking is “well, not much has changed!” With respect to the classic 3-pane mail presentation, you’re absolutely right! (Hey, why mess with a good thing?)

A screenshot of Thunderbird 0.1 from 2003, running on modern hardware and Windows 11.

Thousands of changes have been made to the client between Thunderbird 0.1 and Thunderbird 102, both under the hood and cosmetically. But it’s clear that Thunderbird started with a strong foundation. And it remains one of the most flexible, customizable applications you can use.

Something else stands out about that screenshot above: the original Thunderbird logo. Far removed from the modern, flat, circular logo we have today, this original logo simply took the Mozilla Phoenix/Firebird logo and gave it a blue coat of paint:

The original Mozilla Phoenix/Thunderbird logos<figcaption>The original Mozilla Thunderbird (top) and Mozilla Phoenix (bottom) logos</figcaption> Thunderbird 0.1 Release Notes: “Everything Is New”

Back in 2003, much of what we take for granted in Thunderbird now was actually groundbreaking. Things like UI extensions to extend functionality, and user-modifiable theming were forward-thinking ideas. For a bit of historical appreciation, here are the release notes for Thunderbird 0.1:

  • Customizable Toolbars and Mail 3-pane: Toolbars can be customized the way you want them. Choose View / Toolbars / Customize inside any window. Mozilla Thunderbird also supports a new vertical 3-pane configuration (Tools / Options / General), giving you even more choice in how you want to view your mail.
  • Extensions: UI extensions can be added to Mozilla Thunderbird to customize your experience with specific features and enhancements that you need. Extensions allow you to add features particular to your needs such as offline mail support. A full list of available extensions can be found here.
  • Contacts Manager: A contacts sidebar for mail compose makes it easy and convenient to add address book contacts to emails.
  • Junk Mail Detection: In addition to automatically detecting junk mail using the same method as Mozilla Mail, Thunderbird also sanitizes HTML in mail marked as junk in order to better protect your privacy and give peace of mind when viewing a message identified as junk.
  • New default theme: Mozilla Thunderbird 0.1 sports a crisp, fresh and attractive theme, based on the amazing Qute theme by Arvid Axelsson. This is the same theme used by Mozilla Firebird, giving Thunderbird a similar look and feel. Thunderbird also supports a growing number of downloadable themes which alter the appearance of the client.
  • Stream-lined user interface and simplified Options UI.
  • Integrated spell checker.
Next Time, Inside The Thunderbird Time Machine…

A fictitious entry from a Livejournal page, circa December 2004:

“I had a super productive weekend! Finally finished Half-Life 2 and cannot wait for the sequel! I also upgraded my Dell Inspiron 7000 laptop from Windows 98 to Windows XP, so it’s time to install Firefox 1.0 and Thunderbird 1.0. Looking forward to trying this new open-source software!”

Thunderbird is the leading open-source, cross-platform email and calendaring client, free for business and personal use. We want it to stay secure and become even better. Donations allow us to hire developers, pay for infrastructure, expand our userbase, and continue to improve.

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The post Thunderbird Time Machine, 2003: A Look Back At Thunderbird 0.1 appeared first on The Thunderbird Blog.

Categorieën: Mozilla-nl planet