A quarter of children and teenagers download or stream movies from unofficial sources which offer no guidance on age ratings, according to new research.

The online study, commissioned by the Industry Trust for IP Awareness in partnership with the British Board of Film Classification (BBFC), asked 1,000 11-15-year-olds in the UK about their online viewing habits.

One in five young film fans (18%) admit they have been disturbed by the movies they have watched on pirate websites and two thirds (65%) wish they had checked the film’s official age rating first.

A third (37%) of younger children aged 11-12 admit to having recently downloaded or streamed a film rated 15 from a pirate website

One in five 11-15 year olds (21%) say they use pirate websites to keep up with what their friends and older siblings are watching.

Almost half of children and teens (42%) admit to being aware of rules in place at home designed to restrict what they can and can’t look at on the internet.

With nearly half (45%) of 11-15 year olds spending up to an hour each day watching movies-on-the-move via smartphones and tablets during the summer holidays (per the report), the Industry Trust for IP Awareness and the BBFC urged parents to take advantage of tools available to control what their children are watching, including website FindAnyFilm.com.

Liz Bales, director general of the Industry Trust for IP Awareness, said: “Public concern around what children are watching online has never been higher, making age-appropriate guidance even more critical. The film and TV industry believes education has a role to play. We provide tools to educate families around legitimate and age-appropriate source of film and enable parents and guardians to talk to their children to help them navigate the online landscape safely and legally.”