FBI San Francisco
San Francisco Media Office
August 30, 2023

Internet Safety for Kids: FBI San Francisco Announces Launch of Safe Online Surfing (SOS) Internet Challenge for Back-to-School Season

The FBI’s free, educational program for children that teaches cyber safety is updated with new graphics, interactive content

As the new school year begins, FBI San Francisco is announcing that the Safe Online Surfing (SOS) Internet Challenge opens September 1, 2023, for the 2023-2024 school year at sos.fbi.gov. In the latest version of the program, students experience a more modern and mobile-responsive gaming experience as they make their way through the course. Most importantly, this update addresses and reflects the latest threats kids may face online. 

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. While taking the course, students guide a robot avatar through six thematic areas, answering true/false, multiple choice, and matching questions along the way. After completing all levels, students will take a final exam. 

The SOS activities are open to anyone to explore. To participate in the testing and national competition, teachers must register their eligible classes. The website is available in English at sos.fbi.gov

The SOS Challenge is used widely by schools throughout the United States. During the 2022-2023 school year, 19,735 schools participated in the challenge, with more than 1.6 million students nationwide completing the program. 

In the state of California, 1,102 schools participated in the SOS Challenge during the 2022-2023 school year, including 103,982 students from 6,183 different classrooms.  

Schools in the San Francisco Bay Area won the monthly national SOS Challenge three times last school year. The winning schools in the Bay Area included: the Stratford Preparatory High School in San Jose, which won once, and the Stratford Middle School San Jose, which won twice. 

For Teachers: Registering Your Class for Safe Online Surfing Challenge 

Teachers 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 will be congratulated by local FBI personnel.  

To participate in the challenge, teachers must register their classes at sos.fbi.gov/teachers-sign-up. Teachers manage their students’ participation in the program; the FBI does not collect or store any student information. The SOS program's curriculum meets state and federal internet safety mandates.  
For all media inquiries or interview requests on the FBI’s Safe Online Surfing Internet Challenge, please contact media.sf@fbi.gov.

El Paso, Safe Online Surfing