Safe Online Surfing Internet Challenge Is Open
Free Cyber Safety Program Launches with Spanish Version for 2018-19 School Year
With participation growing and a Spanish version now available, the FBI’s Safe Online Surfing (SOS) Internet Challenge is reopening for the new school year, offering a game-driven curriculum that teaches students about online risks.
The SOS program covers topics such as cyberbullying, protecting personal information, recognizing trustworthy and untrustworthy sites, and avoiding malware through age-appropriate activities. Students visit the island that aligns with their grade level and surf through activities that teach how to recognize hazards and respond appropriately. This year, for the first time, the entire curriculum is also available in Spanish.
“As young people spend more and more time online doing homework, gaming, and connecting to peers, it is critical that we teach them how to protect both their personal information and their well-being.”
Jonathan Cox, unit chief, FBI Office of Public Affairs
The FBI-SOS Internet Challenge had a record level of participation during the 2017-2018 school year, with 906,104 students from schools in all 50 states, D.C., Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands completing the program.
“As young people spend more and more time online doing homework, gaming, and connecting to peers, it is critical that we teach them how to protect both their personal information and their well-being,” said Unit Chief Jonathan Cox of the FBI’s Office of Public Affairs. “SOS provides age-tailored guidance for young students who are just learning to navigate the web all the way up to social media-savvy teens.”
SOS activities are available to everyone, but teachers must register their classes to participate in the tests and competition. Any public, private, or home school in the United States and its territories with at least five students is eligible for the online challenge. Teachers manage their students’ participation in the program, and the FBI does not collect or store any student information.
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.
Visit sos.fbi.gov to explore the Safe Online Surfing Internet Challenge activities and to register.
In the 2017-2018 academic year, 15,153 schools completed the program; Pennsylvania had the most students participating.
Since October 2012, the FBI-SOS website has been visited more than 3.5 million times, with a total of more than 9.2 million page views.
Select Feedback from Participating Teachers, 2017-2018
- “I have been using your online digital citizenship website for a couple years now. It is an excellent resource and teaching tool.”
Millburn, New Jersey
- “Thank you for this great program. My third- through fifth-graders really enjoyed going through it, and I believe that they learned a lot.”
Whittier, North Carolina
- “The students love the challenges.”