October 21, 2014

FBI San Diego Announces the Launch of the Safe Online Surfing Challenge 2014

FBI San Diego announces the launch of the FBI’s Safe Online Surfing (SOS) Challenge 2014 for the San Diego area. One of the FBI’s most important priorities is protecting the citizens of the United States against cyber-based attacks and high technology crimes. To that end, the FBI is focusing on preventative ways to accomplish this goal, which includes educating children on cyber safety.

In 2000, one in seven children received unwanted sexual solicitations over the Internet; by 2011, that number increased to 10 out of 14 children. According to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC), 80 percent of children 5 years old and younger use the Internet at least once a week. As the power and popularity of the Internet continues to expand, the resources needed to address the problem will also continue to grow.

To address the growing use of the Internet, the FBI-SOS Challenge was developed with the assistance of the NCMEC and with the input of teachers and schools. It is sponsored and managed by the FBI and provides vital Internet safety guidance in an interesting, competitive format. The SOS Challenge is open to all public, private, and home schools nationwide. It is a free, educational, fun online program that promotes cyber awareness and teaches students in third through eighth grades how to recognize and respond to online dangers. Each grade-specific program includes interactive sections that include scavenger hunts, games, and quizzes. The topics covered in the SOS Challenge include protecting personal information, online predators, cyber bullying, instant messaging, social networking, cell phone safety, gaming safety, reporting, and copyright and fair use rules.

Participants only need an Internet connection and there are no downloads or installation requirements. The FBI also does not collect or store any information on students. To participate in the SOS Challenge a teacher or administrator can register his/her school at https://sos.fbi.gov. Students are tested using a key code provided by their teachers.

For questions about the SOS Program and FBI San Diego’s community outreach efforts, contact Community Outreach Specialist Cheryl Dorenbush at (858) 320-1800 or by e-mail at Cheryl.Dorenbush@ic.fbi.gov.