Keeping Kids Safe Online: New FBI Program Teaches Cybersecurity To Children

By: Ben Weitzenkorn
Published: 10/16/2012 05:03 PM EDT on TechNewsDaily

The Federal Bureau of Investigation unveiled a new program yesterday (Oct. 15) aimed at teaching children the best practices for staying safe online.

The FBI-SOS (Safe Online Surfing) Internet Challenge takes third- through eighth-graders to grade-specific virtual islands where games, videos and other media teach kids about specific aspects of online safety as it relates to cellphones, social networks, chatrooms and more in a way that's engaging and visually appealing.

In order to get as many kids to think about their security habits as possible, teachers are encouraged to sign up their classes. Once each student completes the course on their island, students can take an exam that will be electronically graded by the FBI (scary!).

There's a competitive aspect too. Based on the number of participants, schools are ranked on a leader board and have the opportunity to win trophies and an educational visit from a local FBI agent.

Teachers and schools who choose to enroll their class in the cybersecurity literacy course will be provided with resources such as a teacher’s guide, online content and instructions.

Whether you're in elementary school, junior high or a high-rise office building, it's never too late or too soon to learn about or brush up on what makes for a safe online experience. The games may be tailored to children, but they will undoubtedly benefit adults too.

Follow Ben on Twitter @benkwx.

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