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1 in 5 British children believe everything on the Internet is true

While children born into a digital world may be media savvy, a new survey finds they may lack judgment skills on navigating the Internet.
While children born into a digital world may be media savvy, a new survey finds they may lack judgment skills on navigating the Internet.
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For parents who may feel intimidated by how savvy their children are using the Internet and digital devices, a new study shows kids still need parental guidance.

United Kingdom communications regulator Ofcom released a report that found that 1 in 5 British children who grew up with the Internet believe everything they find online to be true.

"Ofcom found that only 50 percent of British 12- to 15-year-olds who use search engines use critical judgment when filtering through results," Quartz reported. "Nearly 20 percent of the same age group blindly trust search engines, saying they believed that all results returned must be true (down from 33 percent in 2011)."

The study also found that many digitally native children had trouble identifying sponsored Google results despite the small orange icon that says "Ad" in the corner of each result.

The survey added to worrying statistics here in the U.S., where 35 percent of children younger than 5 use the Internet and 80 percent of those do so once a week or more.

It's not all bad, though. Most of the teens Ofcom surveyed expressed skepticism about social media, agreeing that "most people behave differently online than face-to-face."

Doctors offer the same advice to concerned parents: Monitor children's online habits and talk to them about the Internet regularly. An open dialogue can help kids growing up online to separate the lies of the Internet from reality.

Email: chjohnson@deseretnews.com

Twitter: ChandraMJohnson