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Nearly half of British children frequently visit websites that are either forbidden by their parents or help them meet other people online, new research has found.

According to a survey of 500 people aged eight to 15 and 500 adults, 40% of kids hit websites their parents have told them not to visit.

The research, for online identity firm Garlik, found that 30% of the children divulge personal details like their full name without their parents' consent, 12% give out their home address, 20% their mobile number, 10% their home phone number, 46% school details and 9% give out family photos.

A fifth of kids has met in the offline world with someone they first met online, 5% of them regularly - but only seven percent of parents are aware of the practice. Meanwhile, 11% of children have suffered online bullying.

The vast majority (90%) of parents said they monitor their children's internet habits, but over half of the children surveyed said they use the web when their parents did not know.

Garlik was set up last year by the founders of the Egg bank and others to help protect UK consumers from identity theft. Counting Tim Berners-Lee as an advisor, it markets protects that purportedly help citizens assess the risk to their identity data.

"Our research is a shocking wake-up call to all parents in the UK to sit down with their children and talk about how to keep safe online," said chief executive Tom Llube.

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