FBI Tech Tuesday: Ensuring Safe Online Surfing for Students in Arizona

With students back in school, the FBI Phoenix Division is taking proactive steps to educate both parents and students on the importance of safe online practices.

In today’s digital age, students are spending more time than ever on the internet, whether for schoolwork, social interactions, or research. As technology continues to evolve, it’s crucial for educators, parents, adults, and students to understand and implement safe online behaviors.

To assist in this endeavor, the FBI has introduced a valuable resource called “Safe Online Surfing” or “SOS,” a free computer literacy program. Designed for third to eighth-grade students, this program is available in both English and Spanish and provides age-specific materials. It engages students through a series of grade-appropriate online games, making learning about online safety an enjoyable experience.

Here’s what students can learn from the Safe Online Surfing program:

  1. Online Etiquette: Understand what constitutes good online behavior.
  2. Cyberbullying: Learn how to handle cyberbullies.
  3. Password Security: Discover the importance of strong passwords and two-factor authentication.
  4. Safe Downloads: Learn how to safely download apps and games without risking malware.
  5. Responsible Friend Requests: Understand the importance of screening friend requests responsibly.
  6. Plagiarism and Privacy: Recognize the dangers of plagiarism and privacy violations.

Parents can also play a pivotal role in ensuring their children’s online safety. Here are some helpful tips:

  1. Open Communication: Have conversations with your children about what information, photos, and videos are appropriate to share online.
  2. Awareness: Remind them that a single picture shared with a friend can easily become public.
  3. Privacy: Teach your kids to limit the personal information they share online, including their full name, date of birth, and school details.
  4. Legal Downloads: Explain that some free software, apps, and downloads can be illegal and may expose devices to potential malware attacks.

To learn more about the Safe Online Surfing program, visit sos.fbi.gov. And remember, if you ever become a victim of cyber fraud, don’t hesitate to report it to the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center at www.ic3.gov or contact your local FBI office. Staying safe online is a collective effort, and with resources like SOS, students and parents can navigate the digital world with confidence.