Helping you feel in control

As a parent, the ready availability of online pornography and the potential for children to see it is a worry.

In 2016, research carried out on behalf of the NSPCC and the Office of the Children's Commissioner (OCC) by Middlesex University found that nearly half of 11-16 year olds had seen pornography online, and they were as likely to have viewed it accidentally as they were to have actively searched for it.

In one month alone, 1.4 million children in the UK visited a pornographic website.

As changes in technology accelerate and we live more of our lives online, it’s ever more important to protect children from seeing hardcore pornographic images and videos, and keep them as safe as possible whenever they’re on the web. Equally, for you as a parent, it matters that you feel you have more control.

Making sure protection is in place

The Digital Economy Act 2017 (DEA) facilitates greater levels of protection and control by putting limits in place online, just as we do offline.

Under the Act, all online commercial pornography services that can be accessed from the UK are required to carry age-verification controls to prevent children from seeing content which isn't appropriate for them.

This means that all adults wanting to access pornography must prove that they are 18 or over. It’s not about trying to stop adults viewing legal pornography, but about ensuring that if a child searches for or stumbles across a pornographic website, they won't see any unsuitable content.

Age-verification is one way to help parents address the issue of online safety, and needs to work alongside education and other internet safety initiatives. Taken together, they can make a big difference.

62% of children first see pornography by accident. Age-verification can stop that happening.