Safe and fun play in Build-A-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 Build-A-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 Build-A-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

Chat in Build-A-Bearville

An important part of the® 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 Build-A-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 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 Build-A-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
  • 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 Build-A-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 Build-A-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 Build-A-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 Build-A-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
Build-A-Bearville improvements too!

If you or your child is interested in becoming a Jr. CyBearGuide member, visit Bear
University™ in Build-A-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

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

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® 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