53% of Britain’s most frequent porn watchers aren’t aware that they’re about to be blocked

Graham Cluley

53% of Britain's most frequent porn watchers aren't aware that they're about to be blocked

53% of Britain's most frequent porn watchers aren't aware that they're about to be blocked

A new survey has revealed that the majority of Brits are blissfully unaware that next month the UK Government will be requiring porn websites to verify that their users have obtained a “porn passport.”

The survey, conducted by YouGov, asked 1769 British adults how frequently they watched porn on the internet, and if they were aware they would have to confirm their age using a driving license, credit card, or passport to access adult content.

(The poll also asked which way respondents voted in the General Election, and whether they supported Brexit or not – but let’s not even go there…)

According to the survey, only 24% of Brits knew the porn block was being introduced. Even amongst Britain’s most frequent online porn users (those who access it every day or most days), only 53% knew they would soon have to register their peccadillo.

Porn graph

As we discussed on a recent “Smashing Security” podcast, security experts have questioned how effective the age verification system will be at preventing determined youngsters from accessing adult websites.

Furthermore, it’s likely that many security-savvy internet users might feel more comfortable putting their trust in a VPN to hide that they are visiting an X-rated website from the UK, rather than risk a future data leak revealing that they are in the habit of visiting pornographic websites.

Smashing Security #119: 'Hijacked homes, porn passports, and ransomware regret'

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Of course, you should exercise care about which VPN you choose to use, and for greater privacy ensure that it doesn’t log your online activity. Here is one resource which attempts to evaluate the comparative merits and drawbacks of different VPNs.

The UK government originally planned to slip its controversial age check legislation through the Commons last year with its Digital Economy Act, but had to pull out at the last minute.

Graham Cluley Graham Cluley is a veteran of the anti-virus industry having worked for a number of security companies since the early 1990s when he wrote the first ever version of Dr Solomon's Anti-Virus Toolkit for Windows. Now an independent security analyst, he regularly makes media appearances and is an international public speaker on the topic of computer security, hackers, and online privacy. Follow him on Twitter at @gcluley, or drop him an email.

2 Replies to “53% of Britain’s most frequent porn watchers aren’t aware that they’re about to be blocked”

  1. The UK Govt planned to slip ( in) its… …. "…had to pull out at the last minute."

    Elegant phraseology….

  2. Surely the issue here is that the release of primary ID, a photograph of your passport!! – and the risks that that entails – makes this a solution that is worse than the problem??
    I don't let anyone photo my passport, even employers, they can have a look – and at a push they can scan an out-of-date one – but that's it. I don't want miscellaneous honey-pots of scanned passports in every bank , estate agent, employer – as they are all vulnerable to loss, particularly if there is value..
    Are the Government intending to compromise ID document No.1 – so that a new "ID Card" is then required?

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