Submitted by Naomi Rettke, MN.IT Services media and communications manager

Raising awareness among children of all ages about online and computer safety is the main purpose of a poster contest open to all Minnesota K-12 students. The Kids Safe Online Poster Contest, sponsored by MN.IT Services, the State of Minnesota's information technology provider, offers kids the chance to creatively explain cyber security and have those efforts nationally recognized.

Students can submit a poster illustrating the safe use of the Internet, computers and/or mobile devices. Poster ideas can cover a range of topics, including cyber bullying, visiting safe websites and the dangers of online gaming.

"The contest is a fun way for parents, teachers and kids to talk about the serious issue of internet safety," said Chris Buse, chief information security officer, MN.IT Services.

Up to three state winners in each grade group (K-5, 6-8 and 9-12) will be selected to represent Minnesota in the National Multi-State Information Sharing and Analysis Center's (MS-ISAC) Cyber Security Awareness National Calendar Contest. Last year, Minnesota had two national winners featured in the calendar.

Entry deadline is Feb. 5. Visit mn.gov/oet for more information.