Research on perceptions on Internet health

Mozilla has done some research on perceptions of the health of the Internet.

New Research: How Germans, Americans, Women and Men Feel About Internet Health

Fresh research from Mozilla explores perceptions of internet health among Americans and Germans; women and men; and various age, income and education levels

Today, Mozilla is publishing research that examines people’s perceptions of internet health.

In our first-ever Attitudes Toward Internet Issues report, we study how people feel about online privacy and security, online harassment, misinformation, openness, and other topics. We also explore how perceptions differ among various demographics, like Americans and Germans, women and men, and various age, income and education levels.

“Our findings reveal that a number of factors — from gender to geography — deeply influence how people perceive the state of the web,” says Sam Burton, who leads the Mozilla Foundation’s research on internet health.

“We also learned that some people are more likely than others to take action to improve the health of the internet,” Burton continues. “Actions might include using open source products, checking the source of a news article before sharing it, or standing up for someone being bullied online.”

Attitudes Toward Internet Issues is built around Mozilla’s five internet health issues: Online Privacy and Security; Openness; Decentralization; Digital Inclusion; and Web Literacy.

Key findings:

Online Privacy and Security is the most well-known internet health issue in both the United States and Germany.

  • Just over 60% of people surveyed in both countries indicate they are aware of the issue
  • Social media data correlates with this finding; posts about Online Privacy and Security surpassed posts about other internet health issues

Men are generally more aware of internet health issues than women in both the United States and Germany.

  • However, the gender gap is much smaller in Germany than in the United States
  • In Germany, women are slightly more aware of Online Privacy and Security than men (69% and 67% respectively). This is the only case in which women were more aware of an internet health issue than men

But women tend to care more about online privacy and security than men in both the United States and Germany.

  • In the United States, 75% of women versus 64% of men care about Online Privacy and Security
  • In Germany, 82% of women versus 68% of men care about Online Privacy and Security

Income and education play an important role in awareness of and engagement with internet health issues

  • The Ipsos survey indicates that people in both the United States and Germany with higher income and higher education are on average two times more likely to report familiarity with the term “internet health” than people with other socioeconomic backgrounds

Awareness of all five internet health issues increased between July 2016 and March 2017 in both the United States and Germany.

  • The up-trend was mild, but notable for all five issues
  • Open Innovation was the slowest to increase, particularly in Germany

Awareness of and concern about internet health issues do not necessarily correlate when accounting for age

  • In Germany, the oldest people surveyed (46+ year olds) are most concerned about Internet health issues
  • In both countries,the youngest people surveyed (16–25 year olds) are the most aware of Internet health issues, but expressed the least concern about most of these issues

Read the full Attitudes Toward Internet Issues report.