From cyber bullies to online predators, the threats to our children in this digitally driven age are real. That’s why the FBI runs an online program designed to help prepare America’s young people to safely navigate the world of cyberspace, now and in the future.
It’s called the FBI Safe Online Surfing (FBI-SOS) Internet Challenge, and it teaches students in grades three through eight all about cyber safety and digital citizenship using a series of fun, interactive lessons. To enhance learning, the program includes timed exams and a monthly national competition for registered schools.
And the FBI-SOS program, launched four years ago, just passed a major milestone: More than one million students around the country have now taken the exam and completed the program.
The program keeps growing at a significant clip. The first school year, about 25,000 students took the test; just four years later, that number jumped to nearly a half-million.
Topics covered in FBI-SOS include cell phone safety, privacy, online predators, social networking and gaming safety, and cyberbullying. There is also a version of the site in Spanish.
Does your school participate? If not, we invite teachers nationwide to sign up. Registration is quick and easy, with approval in 24 hours or less. Approved teachers are given access to a secure system that enables them to set up classes, create anonymous test keys for their students, and obtain their exam scores. E-mail customer service is also provided.
The website is open to the public year-round. So even if their children’s school does not take part, parents can still guide their kids through the online activities, minus the exam.
Teachers and students have responded positively to FBI-SOS, and the Bureau plans to continue improving the program and encouraging more students to join. For the FBI, preventing crime and keeping kids safe are top priorities.
Visit the website today at sos.fbi.gov.