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New challenge for teenagers that is being announced by Microsoft

Young people around the world have nearly constant access to the many benefits technology and the Internet provide. From school research and connecting online, to developing creative skills such as writing blogs, producing videos, even composing music, the opportunities for youth are endless. Microsoft encourages kids to use technology responsibly and safely by having conversations with their parents, guardians, educators, and even peers.

The TwC Communications Online Safety team is launching the Safer Online Teen Challenge (Challenge). Hosted on the Microsoft Safer Online Facebook page, the Challenge is designed to inspire teens ages 13 – 18* (except where noted), to step up and take online safety into their own hands by helping to educate their communities. Teens will select from Microsoft's online safety topics and collection of resources from the newly redesigned Microsoft Safety & Security Center, and use their creative voices to plan and develop an online safety awareness-raising skit or presentation, video, short story or digital creation, music composition, or survey. Participants will submit their entries for the chance to be featured on Microsoft's web properties, and be judged by our Facebook fans to win a prize for themselves and possibly their schools.

The challenge runs for about 5 months. The end date is April 30, 2013.

How the Safer Online Teen Challenge works

Message for Teens

1. Visit and "like" the Microsoft Safer Online Facebook page. Click Safer Online Teen Challenge.

2. Read the Official Rules in their entirety.

3. Review each of the five Challenge Contest categories and make your choice.

4. Review the Microsoft Safety Materials, provided on either the Challenge page or in the Resources section in the Microsoft Safety & Security Center.

5. Using the online safety guidance from Microsoft that you'll find there, choose the topic for your Entry. Then plan, build, and execute your Challenge Contest Entry before the end of the Entry Period, following the specific guidelines for each category. Everything you submit must be in English or translated into English.

6. After you have completed your Entry, return to the Challenge page, click the Challenge category you chose, and click Submit entry.

7. Complete the online form and submit your Entry in the format specified for the category you chose. Attach the required document (or link to a file) for the category you selected.

You may submit an unlimited number of Entries. However, to be eligible, all Entries must be received during the Entry Period, which ends at 05:00 p.m. PDT on April 12, 2013.

Period

START

END

Entry period

06:00 a.m. Pacific Standard Time (PST) on November 13, 2012

05:00 p.m. Pacific Daylight Time (PDT) on April 12, 2013

Judging period

05:01 p.m. PDT on April 12, 2013

11:59 p.m. PDT on April 21, 2013

Finalist voting period

12:00 a.m. (midnight) PDT on April 22, 2013

04:59 p.m. PDT on April 30, 2013

Entire contest duration

06:00 a.m. PST on November 13, 2012

05:00 p.m. PDT on April 30, 2013

Message for parents & child caregivers: Use the Challenge as a way to help teens: 1) learn about safer online habits and practices, and 2) support them as they develop a creative skill and ensure the Challenge requirements are fulfilled. Consider rainy days and holidays to help them plan and create their entries. Along the way, learn smarter habits for your own digital lifestyle!

1. If the teen is a minor in your country or region, they must get the permission of a parent or legal guardian before entering.

2. The parent or legal guardian must:

Ensure that the required components of the Entry are fulfilled to the best of your abilities, and

Agree to comply with all aspects of the Official Rules, and

Provide the needed information if the teen is selected as a finalist or winner.

Message for teachers & after-school program leaders: Many schools have limited time or resources to teach comprehensive online safety skills to students. Use the Safer Online Teen Challenge as an extra-credit or extra-curricular project for teens.