The FBI Safe Online Surfing (SOS) Internet Challenge is a free, educational program for children that teaches cyber safety and helps them become better digital citizens in a fun and engaging way.
The program, created for students in third through eighth grades, covers age-appropriate topics like cyberbullying, passwords, malware, social media, and more.
The SOS activities are open to anyone to explore. To participate in the testing and national competition, teachers must register their eligible classes.
You can register classes from any public, private, or home school that has at least five students and is located in the United States for the FBI-SOS Internet Challenge. A secure online system lets you manage your classes, automatically grades your students’ exams, and gives you the test scores.
Each month during the school year, the classes with the top exam scores nationwide receive an FBI-SOS certificate and may be congratulated in person by local FBI personnel.
The SOS program's curriculum meets state and federal internet safety mandates.
You can register your classes to participate in the exam and competition on the SOS Teacher Sign-Up page.
You manage your students’ participation in the program—the FBI does not collect or store any student information. Once registered, you can create classes and a test key for each student. You must keep track of which test keys you assigned to each student.
While the FBI-SOS website is accessible all year, the testing and competition only operate from September 1 through May 31. There is no testing during the summer months.
Parents and kids can use the SOS website at home at any time of year. There’s no registration required—just visit sos.fbi.gov and pick the appropriate grade level.
Kids can work at their own pace to complete the island activities and don't have to finish in one sitting. However, because of federal regulations governing tracking technologies and other issues, the FBI is not able to save a student’s progress on the site beyond a single session.
SOS by the Numbers
Since October 2012, the FBI-SOS website has had more than 13 million total page views.
In the 2020-2021 academic year:
- More than 1.4 million students took the SOS examination.
- Third graders made up the largest number of SOS participants.
- Students from Pennsylvania made the most visits to the SOS site.
Recent Teacher Feedback
- “Thank you for this great resource. I hope that my tax dollars are supporting everything you need to keep the site going.”
- “I love this website!”
Livingston, New Jersey
- “I have been using this teaching tool for some time now and love it!”
- “I have used this program several years for my final assignment, and I hope to use it again this year with my students working from home.”