Poll: Three Out of Four Children Disturbed by Internet Images

According to a recent poll conducted in the UK, three out of four children have been exposed to so-called "disturbing" imagery.

"I've seen violent images I didn't search for," one youngster said on a There4me.com message board, operated by the charitable child protection group NSPCC. "I was freaked out."

In another instance, an 8-year-old girl wound up viewing pornographic advertisements upon searching for "pictures of animals," according to the young girl's brother.

The NSPCC promised to ask that high-security blocking software be added to new computers in hopes of putting a stop to children stumbling across questionable material online. Additionally, the NSPCC would like social networking and video hosting sites to remove offensive material upon discovery.

"Children are just a few clicks away from innocently stumbling across upsetting or even dangerous pictures and films," policy adviser Zoe Hilton said. "High-security parental controls installed in their computers would help shield them. Currently computer manufacturers and retailers leave it to parents to find and install software that filters out material unsuitable for children."

Hilton maintains that children should be using computers that offer protective software.

"We want manufacturers to build highly secure software into every computer," she said, adding retailers should be savvier when educating parents during the purchasing process. "Parents must also educate their children about staying safe online and show them how to report anything they see on the Internet that upsets or worries them."