The fourth annual Safer Internet Day is being marked in 40 countries around the world today.

The initiative aims to promote safer use of the internet and new online technologies through awareness-raising activities.

With a particular focus on children, this year will see safer mobile phone usage highlighted.

Following a report from the European Commission on child safety and mobile phones, leading mobile operators and content providers will today sign the European Framework for Safer Mobile Use.

The EC report found that, while mobiles were of great benefit to children and young people, risks included bullying and access to illegal or pornographic material. Privacy issues highlighted included the use of camera phones and location services.

Blogathon

One of the main features of the day is the worldwide 'blogathon' which will see 200 schools in 29 countries contribute internet safety awareness material.

The best contributions will win an award of €3,000 for their school.

The Irish participants in the competition include Scoil na mBuachaillí in Clonakilty, Co Cork and Bayside Junior School and De La Salle College in Dublin.

Safer Internet Day is organised by the European Internet safety network, INSAFE.

Further information is available on the official website www.saferinternet.org.