Children should take an internet L-test to teach them the dangers of the web, a report has recommended.

The test would cover the dangers of talking to strangers in chat rooms but would also explain how children can get the best out of the internet, according to the report by the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR).

The report suggested filters made for school PCs were indiscriminate because they're unintelligent. For example, removing the word 'sex' from surfing for kids means taking out Essex too. Far better would be to educate children in safe surfing.

Damien Tambini, author of the report Communications: Revolution and Reform said filters remove too much information. “This leads to frustrated surfers but little else," Mr Tambini said.

He added that schools were not teaching children how to get the best out of the internet.
The report recommended that children should take an online test after a week-long course in their summer holidays.

Last week, TV personality and child care activist Carol Vorderman slammed MSN for allowing children access to sexual content in its chat rooms.

Speaking at a conference organised by web watchdog the Internet Watch Foundation, she said there was “no real corporate or government desire to clean up the sites”.

The IPPR’s report also suggested the government should create a new offence for internet porn barons who deliberately target children.