Parents are failing to educate their children about the dangers they could encounter on the internet
According to a study a third of youngsters have come across something they should not have done while they have been browsing the web at home.
The survey by online security company AVG Technologies involved 2,200 UK parents with one or more children aged between four and 16.
It found 35 per cent had come across online dangers, this figure increased to 40 per cent amongst teenagers.
A further six per cent said they had looked at adult content deliberately, 11 per cent had encountered online bullying and eight per cent had met or talked with strangers online.
The study also found that a quarter of parents said they had no plans to educate their children about online risks, increasing to 39 per cent of those with 10 to 12-year-olds and 62 per cent with 13 to 16-year-olds.
AVG spokesman Tony Anscombe said: “No matter how tech-savvy today’s children are, nor how technophobic their parents think they are, it’s important not to forget that they are still just kids.
“As with any other life lessons, children look to parents for guidance, and in turn, it is their responsibility to teach them good from bad.
“The findings of this research prove exactly that. By assuming children know best, simply because they have grown up around technology, parents are opening up their children to online dangers – and a significant amount are falling victim to them in some form.
“It’s only through parents educating themselves and their children about these dangers that we’ll start to reduce the number of children exposed to inappropriate content online.”
Mums and dads were questioned as to why they did not educate their child about internet safety, with two in five saying they believed it was because they were sensible enough to know what to avoid.
Around 22 per cent also said they thought it was too awkward to discuss.
A poll carried out ahead of Internet Safety Day in February found one in seven children admitted to bullying someone online, with many saying they do it to try and fit in with their peers.
The findings also revealed 26 per cent of British 11-16 year-olds use six or more social networks and messaging apps every week.
The most popular individual services are YouTube and Facebook, used by 78 per cent and 74 per cent of this age group respectively.