Over half of American families surveyed by the Pew Internet and American Life Project are using software to censor their family's internet habits.
A newly published Pew survey found that 54 per cent of American surfing is performed using software that prevents access to certain pages.
The survey also found that some teens had stopped using the internet after 'bad experiences', but that this was barely more than one per cent of the online population.
The internet was also found to be a place where children are likely to misbehave. The study revealed that 65 per cent of parents are concerned that they would not approve of their children's surfing habits.
"The age-old struggle between parents who want to protect their children and teens who want to assert their independence and venture into 'forbidden' realms is playing out in new ways online," said Amanda Lenhart, a research specialist and author of the Pew report, Protecting Teens Online.
"Both sides agree that, no matter how hard parents try, online teens are going to do things they know their parents won't like and that many will be a bit too careless about what they disclose online."
The study, which questioned 1,100 12-17 year olds and their parents, revealed that 87 per cent of children between 12 and 17 use the internet, up from 74 per cent in a December 2000 survey by Pew.
Two thirds of parents believe that the internet is good for their child, and one in 20 consider it harmful.
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