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Many parents are concerned about the online safety of their children, and the ease of access to adult material, according to TalkTalk.

Mark Schmid, Communications Director at the firm, highlighted a survey conducted by ParentPort, which found almost half of parents have allowed their children to watch a film classified above their age.

In addition, over a quarter said they had let their children play video games intended for older kids.

Mr Schmid added that 16 per cent of parents said they had bought gadgets for their children, such as games consoles and MP3 players, that they cannot operate themselves.

"Some worried that Christmas gifts such as smartphones and laptops could be used to access inappropriate content," he stated.

"This reflects the findings of our own TalkTalk survey, carried out last year, showed that at least 800,000 children had viewed adult content, and 60 per cent of parents were worried about internet safety."

He urged broadband subscribers to consider using TalkTalk's free HomeSafe product, which can block access to pornography, gambling and suicide and self-harm sites on any device, including smartphones and tablets, when they are connected to the home network.

Current customers can start using HomeSafe by simply logging into My Account now, Mr Schmid noted.

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