A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this website.
Kids can learn key online safety practices, including how to recognize spam subject lines, dangerous pop-up ads, sketchy chat comments, and cyberbullies. They're given detailed instructions on both identifying and dealing with potentially unsafe online elements; then they're able to play games and test what they've learned. While kids can review tips as often as they'd like, specific feedback (What makes this ad spam?) would help them build even stronger safety skills. Rules and understanding about online safety will stick with kids even after the fun and games are over.
The academy offers tips, which emphasize respecting others and avoiding negative people and content, to help kids safely use the Internet and email.
Violence & Scariness
One activity helps kids identify sketchy content on Web site homepages, including references to violence and gore.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Violence & Scariness in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Kids answer characters' questions by choosing from pre-determined responses.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Language in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Products & Purchases
The game is ad-free.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that kids need to download the game to their computer, which takes about 15 minutes on a PC or Mac with a DSL connection. Playing the game teaches them some basic ways to stay safe online by identifying spam emails, ads they shouldn't click on, and chat comments they probably shouldn't respond to.
Is It Any Good?
Created by the Information Networking Institute (INI) at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, the CARNEGIE CYBER ACADEMY teaches kids about email and Internet safety by challenging them to complete a series of tasks. After downloading the game to their desktop, kids zip around different areas of the academy, asking characters questions and helping them find missing items. The game activities are preceded by a brief lesson. To practice identifying spam, kids choose which emails should be trashed based on their subject line; cadets also learn to keep chat rooms safe by tossing strangers who ask for personal information. The ratio of information and activities is just right -- kids will have fun learning valuable online safety tips, and because the site includes detailed instructions for each challenge, they should be able to find their way around the academy fairly easily.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.