Teens: Step Up to the Microsoft Safer Online Challenge

Calling all young people between the ages of 13 and 18*:  Do you sing, act, write, or otherwise create?  Get those creative juices flowing; put your “mad (artistic) skillz” to work, and help promote a positive message about life online.

Today, Microsoft is launching its first-ever Safer Online Teen Challenge.  Teens are encouraged to submit creative works that champion one of many key messages about being smarter and more secure on the Internet.  Works must be submitted by April 12, 2013, and our hundreds of thousands of thoughtful and learned Facebook fans will help select winners in five inspired categories:  song, story/cartoon, skit/presentation, survey, and video.  All submissions require English translations, but works are welcome in any language and from basically every corner of the world.  Successful submissions may be featured on Microsoft‘s web properties – visited by millions – and cool prizes will be awarded to the most popular, compelling, and inventive entries. The contest starts right in time for the December holidays, so teens can imagine and create their visions over the school break.

Microsoft offers a wealth of advice and guidance about staying safer online.  All of our resources can be found at our newly designed Safety & Security Center, as well as on our Facebook page.  (Click the “Resources” tab at the website to view all of our instructive materials.)  We hope to see teens create inspired works on topics such as preventing online bullying, safeguarding one’s online reputation, and being selective about sharing personal information.  Our website, visited by more than five million people each month, is just one place where the winning Challenge entries will be posted.

Microsoft has been helping to keep children, teens, and adults safer and more secure on the Internet for decades.  We refer to this work as fostering digital citizenship – encouraging and motivating all individuals to be responsible, informed, and appropriate users of technology.  With the 2012 Safer Online Teen Challenge, we’re eager to see what teens in particular may be learning from the scads of useful advice and guidance being developed by Microsoft and others in the technology industry, government, business, and the non-profit community.

So, whether you’re a concerned parent, teacher, coach, or counselor; a knowledgeable IT professional, or a savvy software developer, we’re hoping you know a teen or two who may be interested in stepping up our Challenge.

For a complete list of Challenge rules, eligibility, and entry requirements, please see http://aka.ms/SOTeenOfficialRules.  To learn more about Microsoft’s work in online safety and security, consult our Digital Citizenship in Action Toolkit.  “Like” our page on Facebook (another Challenge featured property); follow us on Twitter, and let the Challenge begin!
*(Except where noted.)

About the Author
Jacqueline Beauchere

Chief Online Safety Officer, Microsoft

Jacqueline F. Beauchere is the Chief Online Safety Officer at Microsoft. In this role, Ms. Beauchere is responsible for all aspects of Microsoft’s online safety strategy, including cross-company policy creation and implementation, influence over consumer safety features and functionality and Read more »