Safer Internet is today – it is organized by INSAFE in February to promote safer and more responsible use of online technology and mobile phones, especially among children and young people across the world.
This year, the focus is on virtual lives. Today young people spend a good part of their lives on activities ranging from online gaming to social networking. In doing so they face multiple challenges related to their privacy, reputation and health.
• Gamers spend on average 8 hours weekly playing 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 in World of Warcraft (WoW), world's largest massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG).
• MMORPGs generated $1.5 billion in subscription revenues worldwide in 2008,
forecast to reach $2.5 billion by 2012.
• 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.
*Sources: Facebook, Second Life, TDG, Strategy Analytics
Here are some key messages to consider:
• Hiding behind your avatar, pseudo or profile page will not shield you.
• Your actions in your virtual life can impact on your real life.
• Monitor your playing activities: a balance between online and offline is important.
• Look for virtual worlds that don't encourage consumerism.