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The majority of UK adults with children in the household are against the automatic blocking of internet content, a new study has revealed.

Research conducted by TalkTalk indicated that parents prefer to choose whether to block potentially harmful material.

Some 37 per cent of respondents think broadband providers should be invited to make an active choice on filtering as standard.

A further 30 per cent said their internet service should only be filtered if they ask for it.

Just 22 per cent thought that default filtering of harmful content, such as pornography, is the best system, where the internet is filtered unless they ask for it not to be.

As such, almost four out of five adults with children in the house rejected the concept of default filtering.

In March 2012, TalkTalk became the first - and so far only broadband provider - to introduce active choice for all new broadband customers.

Subscribers are asked upfront if they wish to turn on HomeSafe, the network-level parental controls service, to help them control access to the type of content their children can access online.

Since this option was introduced, around a third of new customers have opted to activate parental controls.

Dido Harding, Chief Executive of TalkTalk, said: "We firmly believe that internet safety is the road safety of our children’s generation.

"Internet safety requires the same approach, where tools like HomeSafe are one very important part of the overall approach, along with better education and information for families."

She proposed that giving customers an active choice about using controls like HomeSafe is the most effective way to engage them in internet safety.

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