FBI Launches Safe Online Surfing Internet Challenge

Games and videos are used to teach young ones everything about Internet safety

By on October 16th, 2012 09:25 GMT

What better way to learn about cyber safety than through games, videos and other interactive features? The US Federal Bureau of Investigation is counting on this in their latest cyber security program called Safe Online Surfing (FBI-SOS).

The website – sos.fbo.gov – is designed to help youths better understand the risks that plague the Internet these days.

FBI-SOS features six “islands,” each of them being dedicated to children between third and eighth grade.

The islands contain 7-8 areas that young ones can explore, each of them focusing on a specific cyber safety lesson.

To make everything even more interesting, FBI-SOS includes not only testing sections for students, but also a competition between educational institutions.

So, after all the island scenarios are completed and after each student is tested, a leader board operated by the Bureau will show which school is the best. Winners will receive custom FBI-SOS trophies and, if possible, they will be visited by a local FBI agent.

“FBI-SOS is a fun, free, and effective way to teach kids how to use the Internet safely and responsibly,” Scott McMillion, head of the unit that manages the program in the FBI’s criminal investigative division, explained.

“We encourage teachers to check out the site and sign up their classes during the school year.”

A noteworthy fact is that the agency is not collecting the students’ details as part of the program. Only the teachers’ names, schools and email addressed are required to verify their identity for registration purposes.

FBI’s SOS project comes days after 15-year-old Amanda Todd committed suicide. The incident once again highlighted the risks posed by cyberbullying and the lack of Internet safety training programs for youths.

In a study published back in August, security firm McAfee revealed that social media websites are often utilized by cyberbullies. 92% of the teens who reported being bullied online claimed that the incident occurred on Facebook.

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