Game Teaches 8-12 Year Olds How to Be Safe on the Internet

By Kenna McHugh Comment

Kids can now play a game that teaches them how to be safer on the internet. Between the ages of 8 and 12, kids can access the game on NSTeens, a website that both the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children and Sprint support in honor of Internet Safety Month. The new game, “Tad’s Profile Panic,” teaches kids about what information should not be included in their online profiles. Players help Tad clean up his messy profile by collecting the information that should be kept private while avoiding others who would dispense Tad’s personal information all over school.

I tried the game despite the fact I am not between the ages of 8 and 12. It was fun, and I learned not to share any of my information with anyone. The game has several levels and each level is progressively harder and harder.

It is estimated that 73% of teens between the ages of 12 to 17 have social networking profiles. Around 86% of teens comment on the pages or walls of their friends’ social networking profiles. The could be offering information that is too personal or private. The goal of the “Tad’s Profile Panic” is to educate kids before they reach their teen years when use of social networking increases.

In addition to other three online games, NSTeens has animated videos featuring a multi-ethnic cast of comic-book-style characters with videos of real teens talking about their online experiences. All NSTeens’ videos include activity cards to help teachers create lesson plans using the videos.

During the 2009-2010 school year, NSTeens website was visited by more than 268,000 students, parents and educators. During the most recent 2010-2011 school year the number of visitors to the NSTeens website increased to more than 476,000.