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Safer Internet Day highlights dangers online

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The fourth Safer Internet Day, today, will be marked with events worldwide aimed at raising awareness of online child protection issues.

Safer Internet Day, organised by EU online safety initiative Insafe, will include a repeat of 2006's "blogathon", where children in 25 countries will showcase work being done in classrooms to alert them to threats. Sessions this year from Australia to the UK will concentrate on privacy, social networking etiquette, and safely sharing photographs with friends.

It comes the same day as Home Secretary John Reid said he was considering requiring sex offenders to register their email addresses and chat room handles. The announcement also comes in the wake of yesterday's unprecedented conviction of three men who had never met, but via the internet conspired to rape two teenage sisters.

The Home Office said any concrete plan would mean penalties for registered sex offenders who did not keep authorities up to date with their online identity. Presumably, this will be more than enough to stop them opening yet another Hotmail account.®

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