Get Your Teen Thinking about Online Safety with Microsoft's Safer Online Teen Challenge

Jan 10, 2013 8:00am

As educators, parents, and caregivers, it’s important to raise successful digital citizens, helping ensure our kids are using the Internet safely and securely.  This is of special consideration if your child, tween, or teen received a new computer, smartphone, tablet, gaming system, or other Internet-enabled device over the holidays.

Do your kids know the elements of a secure password?

Do they know how to connect with care when using Wifi hotspots? 

Do they STOP. THINK. CONNECT. before clicking on links, sharing images, sending texts, or downloading music, and to take security precautions, understanding the consequences of their actions and behaviors to enjoy the full benefits of the Internet?

Our friends at Microsoft (an NCSA Board Member Company) have come up with a fantastic, creative way to get your teens thinking about online safety: the Safer Online Teen Challenge.

The Safer Online Teen Challenge is a contest where teens can teach others how to stay safer online by creating a song, video, skit or other original work.

We think the Challenge is a perfect way for teens to put their own spin on online safety messaging on a level that will resonate with their peers.   

Here’s how it works:

  1. Teens ages 13 to 18 (where applicable), select an online safety topic from either the Microsoft Safety & Security Center or the “Resources” tab of the Safer Online by Microsoft Facebook page. (You can also check out the STOP. THINK. CONNECT. website for tips and advice.)
  2. They create their work of art (using one of Microsoft’s five categories: skit/presentation, video, story/cartoon, song, survey) and submit their entry by April 12 on the Challenge website.
  3. Then, Microsoft’s Safer Online Facebook fans will vote to select the winners of each category. Microsoft will post the winning entries on their website and the winners will receive prizes like tablets, gaming systems and more.

We encourage educators, parents, and after-school program leaders to share the Challenge with the teens in your community.

Learn more about the Challenge and get the Official Rules by visiting the Safer Online by Microsoft Facebook page.

Then, help spread the word about the Challenge through your social medial channels (use the hashtag #SOteen) and by hanging these posters in your school, community, and religious centers. You can download the posters here: 

Safer Online Teen Challenge Poster      Safer Online Teen Challenge Poster