The kids are all right - at getting round internet filters

The kids are all right at bypassing internet filters
Look what 4Chan's up to now, dad

Ofcom has asked around and it turns out that kids and teens are pretty good at this whole internet thing.

The regulator's research shows that 18% of 12- to 15-year-olds know how to get around internet filters that block adult sites and piracy-friendly file-sharing sites, although only 6% claim to have done it in the past year.

However, more have admitted to knowing how to delete their browsing history (42%) and 29% are cool with switching their browser to privacy mode, with 19% admitting to doing the former in the past 12 months and 12% saying they've done the latter.

Digital natives

None of this is too surprising: 12- to 15-year-olds have never known a time without near-ubiquitous internet access and are generally fluent in the ways and wiles of the web. In fact, 63% of parents say that their 12- to 15-year-olds know more about the internet than they do.

That's why we're not too shocked to learn that 89% of those parents say they trust their kids to use the internet safely.

Ofcom's findings put question marks all around the UK government's plan to have ISPs automatically block anything deemed unsavoury, requiring account holders to manually request access to adult sites.

Last year, a BBC investigation found that these so-called 'porn filters' were also blocking legitimate sex education sites, among other safe web destinations.

Perhaps that's why over half of the parents surveyed do not use parental controls provided by their ISP, their computer OS or third-party software.

In response to the findings, Culture Secretary Maria Miller wheeled out the old "not a silver bullet" line again, saying that the onus falls as much on parents to protect their children by "talking to them about how to stay safe online" as it does on technological "solutions".

News Editor (UK)

Former UK News Editor for TechRadar, it was a perpetual challenge among the TechRadar staff to send Kate (Twitter, Google+) a link to something interesting on the internet that she hasn't already seen. As TechRadar's News Editor (UK), she was constantly on the hunt for top news and intriguing stories to feed your gadget lust. Kate now enjoys life as a renowned music critic – her words can be found in the i Paper, Guardian, GQ, Metro, Evening Standard and Time Out, and she's also the author of 'Amy Winehouse', a biography of the soul star.