Survey Discovers Digital Divide between Parents and Children

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9th February 2012 15:42 - Information Technology

An online survey of 1,800 Britons by ParentPort website on has found that only one in six parents (16%) understand the technologically advanced gadgets used by their children.

ParentPort itself was jointly set up in October last year by consumer bodies which include the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA), the Press Complaints Commission and the Office of Communications (Ofcom). The aim of the site is to make it easier for parents to complain about inappropriate content across media channels.

The survey has revealed not only a wide digital divide between children and adults, but also a lack of parental control in what kids have access to.

In total, more than two thirds of the younger generation are allowed to watch films rated as unsuitable for their age, and a quarter play computer games that are classified for older people.

While 82% of parents said they closely supervise what films and television programmes their children watch and 77% claimed they usually know what websites their children visit, there is concern over the unrestricted access their children have to unsuitable content via smartphones, laptops and tablets.

Ofcom Chief Executive Ed Richards commented: "This survey reveals the challenges facing parents when it comes to their children's use of the media. ParentPort now gives parents an easy way to register their concerns with the media regulators who work to protect children from inappropriate material."

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