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January 15, 2013
Kim is director of online safety for Microsoft.
As parents, our job is to be good role models for our kids. That includes being good digital citizens, too.
This means using Internet connected devices as safely and securely as possible, and helping ensure our kids are doing the same. It’s not easy, especially if they’ve just received a new gadget during the holidays that you’re still trying to figure out!
We’ve all seen our share of stories about the risks that exist in the online world for kids. While understanding these risks is important, it’s also important to understand the positive impact the Internet can have. The Platform for Good, a project of the Family Online Safety Institute (FOSI) designed to help parents, teachers and teens to connect, share and do good online, is working to set the record straight about it’s positive story. Even though we don’t live in a perfect world, we can all take steps to create a safer digital world where we want to participate.
So what can the teens in your life do to demonstrate that they want to be a positive participant in creating a safer digital world? Have them take the Microsoft Safer Online Teen Challenge.
The Challenge is an interactive contest where teens can teach others how to manage their digital lifestyle by creating a song, video, skit or other original work. It’s a perfect way for teens to put their own spin on how they navigate digital safety.
Here’s how it works:
• 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.
• 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.
• 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 everyone - teachers, parents, 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 using these posters in your school, community, and religious centers.
Kim Sanchez is Director of Privacy and Online Safety in the Trustworthy Computing group at Microsoft Corporation. She is responsible for strategic communications to worldwide consumer and government audiences on Microsoft's work in computer privacy, security and online safety.
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