The New York State Office of Information Technology Services (ITS) today launched its 19th Annual New York State Kids Safe Online Poster Contest to engage young people in thinking about cybersecurity and to help promote safe online practices. The contest, which is a qualifier for the National Kids Safe Online Poster Contest organized by the Multi-State Information Sharing and Analysis Center (MS-ISAC), is open to New York State students in kindergarten through 12th grade. The deadline for submissions is December 15, 2023.
“The Office of Information Technology Services is proud to bring the Kids Safe Online poster contest to New York State once again this year. There really is no better way to illustrate that we all have an important role to play in ensuring online safety than giving our students the opportunity to show off their creative and thought-provoking designs. We always look forward to receiving and reviewing these submissions, and using them to promote cyber safety and online best practices for the benefit of all New Yorkers,” said Jennifer Lorenz, Acting New York State Chief Information Officer.
“Students have a world of knowledge at their fingertips,” said Chris DeSain, New York State Chief Information Security Officer. “It is our job to help them understand the responsibility they have regarding the information they access to and the power of their own digital footprint. The NYS Kids Safe Online Poster Contest allows students to showcase and share their cybersecurity knowledge.”
"Cybersecurity is not just about technology; it's about safeguarding our digital future. With the annual Kids Safe Online poster contest, Governor Hochul and ITS are empowering schoolchildren around New York to visualize and champion cyber hygiene practices. Let's embrace our creativity as a key weapon against cyber threats," said Colin Ahern, New York State Chief Cyber Officer.
“In an increasingly digital world, prioritizing online safety for our students is paramount to shield them from potential threats while harnessing the benefits of technology. By fostering a secure online environment, children can explore a multitude of educational resources, collaborate with peers, and develop the necessary digital skills to enhance their learning experience and become prepared citizens. The State Board of Regents and I look forward to seeing how New York’s students share insight on cyber security with their peers through this exciting poster contest,” said State Education Department Commissioner Betty A. Rosa.
"Students of all ages are connected across a variety of devices, including phones, tablets, school laptops and gaming systems,” said Karen Sorady, Vice President, MS-ISAC Member Engagement at the Center for Internet Security. “The Kids Safe Online Poster Contest is a terrific way to not only educate kids about making smart choices and protecting their personal information, but it also empowers them to identify and report potential online dangers to keep their friends and communities safer."
The winning posters will be announced in early 2024 and will be featured in the New York State Kids Safe Online Calendar. The winners will be entered in the CIS MS-ISAC National Poster Contest. Last year, New York State had two students selected as winners in the national contest.
The goal of the contest is to educate students about the importance of cybersecurity by encouraging them to creatively depict what cybersecurity means to them through artwork. The contest also encourages teachers across New York State to reinforce cybersecurity best practices, such as the appropriate use of text messaging, safe sharing on social media and protection of personal information.
For more information on the New York State Kids Safe Online Poster Contest or for additional information on how to stay safe online, visit https://its.ny.gov/2023-2024-kids-safe-online-poster-contest.
The New York State Office of Information Technology Services (ITS) was created in 2012 to transform IT services in an effort to make New York State government work smarter for its citizens and enable the state to be accessible for businesses through the use of technology. ITS provides statewide IT strategic direction, directs IT policy, and delivers centralized IT products and services that support the mission of the State. ITS operates data centers 24 hours a day, 365 days a year to support statewide mission-critical applications for over 50 Agencies, over 17 million citizen accounts, 120,000 employee accounts, 60,000 phones, 99,000 desktops and laptops, and 3,433 Virtual Desktop remote connections. ITS operates a secure network of over 1,600 miles of fiber to deliver telecommunications, Internet and Intranet services, enterprise email systems and support, IT training, networking, data storage and processing to State government entities in addition to developing new services in support of citizens, businesses, and State Agencies.