Safer Internet Day is celebrated on the second day of the second week of the second month of the year and is organized by Insafe and co-founded by the European Union. Safer Internet Day is to promote safer and more responsible use of online technology and mobile phones, especially amongst children and young people across the world
The theme selected by Insafe for 2011 Safer Internet Day is the 'Virtual Lives,' with the slogan "It"s more than a game, it"s your life". 'Virtual Lives' raises the issue of online games and aims to cater the message, "remember hekey internet safety messages when playing games" to parents and young people.
Some facts and figures:
* Gamers spend on average 8 hours weekly playng online
* Young people sleep 2 to 3 hours less per night than 10 years ago
* In January 2010, 18 million accounts were registered on Second Life
* Facebook reports more than 500 million active users
* Users spend 700 billion minutes on Facebook each month
* 13 million players of World of Warcraft (WoW), the world's largest MMORPG
* Up to 250,000 players are simultaneously online on WoW
* Transactions and sales of virtual goods in virtual worlds were estimated at $18 billion in 2009
"Messages will address the risks young people run when they deliberately go virtual, for example through playing a MMOG as an avatar, as well as risks elicited when they project their real self onto virtual platforms, such as uploading a video on YouTube," Insafe said in their website.
"Safer Internet Day is a fantastic opportunity to raise awareness about using new technology safely and responsibly. This year we are raising the issue of online games," said Will Gardner of the Safer Internet Centre to The Telegraph.