Four Fifths of British 5-year-olds Use Internet: Study

by Rukmani Krishna on Sep 28 2012 11:47 PM

 Four Fifths of British 5-year-olds Use Internet: Study
More than four fifths of Britons aged five now own or use an Internet device, a new study has found.
Some 82 percent have access to a computer, smartphone, and tablet or other way of getting online, the security firm McAfee said, based on a poll of 2,000 parents of children aged five to 15.

According to the Telegraph, increasing use of the Internet by the very young has fueled ongoing debate about child safety online.

The government is consulting on measures that could force broadband providers impose filters to block adult content unless subscribers ask for them to be removed, the report said.

McAfee said its survey showed that a quarter of five-year-olds have been allowed to access the Internet unsupervised.

"Children are increasingly technology savvy, yet their perceptions of danger are not fully developed," Raj Samani, McAfee's European chief technology officer, said.

"It's crucial for parents to educate their children about how to stay safe online and also make sure that they have the appropriate blocks and controls installed on any device that might be used by a child," he added.

Campaigners have argued that software such as McAfee's will not adequately address the problem of children accessing pornography or violent material online, because some parents are unwilling or lack the technical ability to take responsibility.

According to the report, earlier this year the chairman of the Independent Schools Council, Barnaby Lenon, claimed that children were becoming 'addicted' to technology at the expense of their reading and conversational skills and that computer use should be limited to an hour or two each day.