Safe and fun play in Bearville is our #1 priority; we encourage you to participate and monitor your child's play on the Internet and to partner with us to help keep the Internet a safe and fun place to play.

Thanks for playing with us!

Help Your Kids Play Safe Online
There is no substitute for watching what sites your child is visiting and who your child is interacting with online, but these tips can help you talk to your children about playing safe online.
What are cyberbullies?
Cyberbullies are just like bullies at school, but since they do their bullying online, they can sometimes be more dangerous. Cyberbullies can hide their identity and usually there is no one around to see the harm that they are causing. It's hard for teachers to get involved because this type of bullying usually takes place outside of school. Cyberbullying can affect children as young as 7 through their high school years. For younger children especially, cyberbullying is often password theft. In Bearville™ your child works hard to win prizes and earn Bear Bills® and it can be heartbreaking to lose everything to a cyberbully who knows their password.

As a parent, it is important for you to know who your child is interacting with online and make sure they are not giving out information they should not.

We at Bearville are always working to make the Internet a safer place for children. Through our safe chat system, kids can chat safely with others by choosing from pre-approved phrases, preventing them from sharing personal information with strangers.
Chat in Bearville

An important part of the Bearville® experience is chat. We have partnered with parents, teachers, children and industry experts to develop a simple to use, filtered and fun Chat system:

  • Safe Open Chat: Children using Safe Open Chat can type their own phrases, provided they are included in an approved dictionary of words and phrases. This system uses the approved dictionary combined with filters that prevent the use of numbers, symbols and inappropriate communications.
  • Instant Chat: Instant Chat allows users to choose what they want to say from a list of prewritten approved phrases. This is our default chat type and will be automatically on your child's account.
  • Silent Chat: Silent chat is also available if you do not wish to use or see chat in Bearville.

We believe all options are safe and fun, but to use Safe Open Chat parental permission is required. If you would prefer that your child not chat or view others chatting in the world, you can set their chat type to Silent by selecting the "Change Chat" option in the PDA.

Passwords
- Passwords should be easy to remember, hard to guess. If your kids have to write it down, it's too hard to remember. If it's a pet's name, their middle name, their favorite sports team, etc., it's too easy to guess. Sit down with your kids and talk about ideas for a password, and remember a combination of numbers and letters is always best.
- Don't allow your kids to give out their password to others. 85% of elementary school students and 70% of teens we polled said they shared their password with at least one friend. That's one friend too many!
- Friends can be cyberbullies too, signing onto your child's account, impersonating them and possibly embarrassing them. They can also change your child's password, locking them out of their account.
Rules for Online Behavior
Talk through these rules with your child before they play online.
  • - The Bearville Golden Rule: Don't do anything online that you wouldn't do in real life.
  • - Don't do anything parents, principals, predators or the police shouldn't see. As they get older, add a 5th P – prospective employers or college recruiters! Remember that anyone you meet online that you don't know in real life is not a "friend" it's just someone you know online.
  • - Never meet in person with anyone you only know from the Internet. You never know who they really are!
  • - What you post online stays online – forever! Remember that and thinkb4uClick!
  • - You are what you post – you can be the most incredible person in real life, but no one knows that if you aren't incredible online too.
  • - If you get a mean message or see something posted about you online – Stop, Block and Tell! Stop, don't answer back, block the person or message and tell a trusted adult!
  • - Make sure you have protective security software downloaded to avoid viruses that kids may click on by accident.
What Bearville is doing to keep your kids safe from predators and cyberbullies?
Talk through these rules with your child before they play online.
  • 1. No Personal Information Required
    When signing up for Bearville with your child, you may have noticed we don’t require any personal information about your child.
  • 2. Ignore Feature
    If your child ever feel like someone is harassing or cyberbullying, you can always Ignore the other player. Once the player is ignored, you will no longer see their character or anything they say or do. Just double click on their character and choose “Ignore.” To un-ignore, select “Un-ignore” by clicking on their name under “Ignored” in your Furbulous Friends List.
  • 3. Report this Player
    If you ever feel that someone in Bearville is not being a good citizen please report them using our Report this Player feature. This will send a report to our CyBearPatrol which we will investigate thoroughly. If the report is valid, that player will be warned, suspended or even banned based on the severity of the offense.
    To report a player:

    • 1. Double click on the character you would like to report and select “Report this player”
    • 2. Choose a reason for reporting: Traded unfairly, Used bad language, etc
    • 3. Describe as clearly as possible what the player did.
    • 4. Enter the date it happened if the date is not already correct in the “When did this happen?” field.
    • 5. Click Send.
Jr. CyBearGuide™ Program
Our Jr. CyBearGuide program allows qualified citizens of Bearville to act as guides by answering questions, providing information and even giving tours. Each Jr. CyBearGuide member receives a unique Jr. CyBearGuide blue star hat to help distinguish them from other characters and let others know that they are there to help and answer questions. Sometimes, we ask our guides to give their opinions and suggestions on Bearville improvements too!

If you or your child is interested in becoming a Jr. CyBearGuide member, visit Bear University™ in Bearville. Click the paw under the big Jr. CyBearGuide blue star to learn more about the program. Then, if you meet the qualifications, visit the Classroom to take the test!
Getting you involved - Parent Advisory Panel
Build-A-Bear Workshop was founded in St. Louis in 1997 and grew as a business based on integrity, value, fun, and giving back to our community. We have been successful because we have listened to our Guests -- children and parents, every step of the way.

We believe that parents play a significant role in helping to ensure the online safety of their children. We have always had a Parent Advisory Panel – a group of parents that from time to time we ask to review and give input on products, services and online features. They have been a valuable source of important input since we launched our online community. It is interested and engaged Guests, like our Parent Advisory Panel, who help us do a better job!

If you would like to join our Parent Advisory Panel, please send an email to parentadvisors@buildabear.com
Who is Parry Aftab?
Parry Aftab is the leader in internet safety for children. Previously, she was a lawyer specializing in cyber security for businesses. Since 1997, Parry has been working to educate parents and kids how to use the Internet safely. She has created Teen Angels and Tween Angels, groups of teens and tweens who give Parry advice on what children are doing on the Internet and keep her up to date with new trends. There are many chapters of Teen and Tween Angels all over the country who help other kids stay safe online by giving advice and answering questions. Parry has written two books about Internet safety for children, has advised other books, and has been featured in the media multiple times as an analyst. Currently, Parry has teamed up with Build-A-Bear Workshop® and bearville.com® to help us become an even safer site for your children!

Watch a clip of Parry on The Today Show, talking about tips for parents on how to be involved in their children’s Internet usage