UK prime minister Gordon Brown has promised a government consultation on the effects of the media on children, including the internet.
Brown said at his regular monthly press conference that people had the right to expect that their children were protected from harmful material in a multimedia age.
The increasing number of information sources is a good thing, according to Brown, but rules are needed to control access.
"The sources of information for children from a very young age now are the internet, television, commercial advertising," he said.
"That is a good thing in so many different ways, but where there is pornographic or violent material any parent is going to be concerned.
"The whole purpose of this review would be to draw advice from all sources so we can look at this in a sensible way.
"[The review will aim] to make sure that our children, while given every opportunity to benefit from new technology and new media, are protected against some of the malign influences that are trying to operate through those media."
Brown stressed that he is not advocating censorship but that the review would consider what could be done. In particular, advertising and material released before the watershed would be considered.
Nigel Hawthorn, vice president of marketing at application network security firm Blue Coat, said: "The problems of inappropriate materials on the internet are increasing every day.
"Internet use by children needs to be addressed by parents and guardians and there are practical steps parents can take to safeguard their children while online.
"If these steps are followed, not only will children be kept safe online but incidents of viruses, spyware and phishing attacks will reduce, saving adults as well as children from internet-borne dangers."
Hawthorn recommended that parents talk to their children about safe internet use, install web filtering technology and have the home PC in a public space, not in a child's bedroom.
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