In April 2015, the Pew Research Center published a study saying that 92 percent of teens report going online daily—including 24 percent who say they go online “almost constantly.” According to the study, nearly three-fourths of teens have or use a smartphone.
Considering the many dangers that lurk on the Internet—from child predators to cyber bullies, from malicious software to a multitude of scams—it’s imperative that our young people learn the ins and outs of online safety from an early age.
That is precisely why the Bureau launched the FBI Safe Online Surfing (SOS) Internet Challenge in October 2012 with a dedicated new website. FBI-SOS is a free, fun, and informative program that promotes cyber citizenship by educating students in third to eighth grades on the essentials of online security. For teachers, the site provides a ready-made curriculum that meets state and federal Internet safety mandates, complete with online testing and a national competition to encourage learning and participation. A secure online system enables teachers to register their schools, manage their classes, automatically grade their students’ exams, and request the test scores.
The FBI-SOS website features six islands—one for each grade level—with age appropriate games, videos, and other interactive materials in various portals. The site covers such topics as cell phone safety, the protection of personal information, password strength, instant messaging, social networking, and online gaming safety. The videos include real-life stories of kids who have faced cyber bullies and online predators.
The popularity of our SOS online cyber program has grown over the past several school years. The number of students who have completed the training went from 24,475 in 2012-2013, to 75,377 in 2013-2014, to 275,656 in 2014-2015, to 497,248 in 2015-2016. That’s a grand total of 872,756 students.
The Kids’ Page is designed for children and their parents to learn more about the FBI through age-appropriate games, tips, stories, and interactives. We also introduce you to our working dogs and show how FBI special agents and analysts investigate cases.
Help Special Agent Bobby Bureau get in disguise for his undercover assignment. He’s depending on you!
You can visit the Fun and Games page at the FBI archives.