FBI promotes online safety at a young age

Published: Feb. 22, 2013 at 3:59 AM CST|Updated: Feb. 22, 2013 at 4:53 PM CST
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BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - It wears a playful disguise with a monkey on an island, but FBI special agent Scott Wells said the purpose of the Safe Online Surfing program is very serious.

"We need to be able to educate these children to the dangers and the issues that they're going to face online," said Wells.

The program is free and it's designed to educate third through eighth graders about cyber safety.

"Get their attention on the issues before they get out into high school to prepare them for their teenage years and their young adult years," said Wells.

He said 10,000's of students are using the program and it was a no brainer for the FBI to step in.

"We're working a lot of these cases and we don't want to see children become victims of them. So what can we do to stop that?"

The program started because of the prevalence of technology in society. From computers to iPads to cells phones, technology is everywhere.

"It's certainly not going to go away. So we do need to educate our children on how to properly use technology and interact with people," said Wells.

By teaching children not to enter private chat rooms and click on links they're not familiar with, Wells said this program is comforting.

"I'm glad that it's there as a parent and someone that has a job. You know, we're very busy," said Wells.

Wells encourages everyone to educate their children about online safety through whatever program they feel best. He said combating online danger is necessary, and the key to it is through cyber safety education at a young age.

To go to the Safe Online Surfing website, visit

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