Young people are overconfident online

Young people are confident when using the internet but not necessarily competent at doing so. This is the finding of new research entitled Truth, Lies and the Internet: A Report into Young People's Digital Fluency, which suggested youngsters are not careful when surfing the web.

According to the investigation, adolescents are often not discerning when online and sometimes fail to get the information they are searching for.

Problems that arise when young people scour the net include an inability to fact-check data and being unable to recognise propaganda and bias.

As such, these individuals tend to be influenced by findings they should probably discard, as such information can make them susceptible to falsehoods and scams, while they may also be more inclined to believe in conspiracy theories.

The authors Jamie Bartlett and Carl Miller, from power and politics think-tank Demos, concluded: "This pamphlet recommends that teaching young people critical thinking and skepticism online must be at the heart of learning."

Dr Karol Szlichcinski, a Chartered Psychologist, commented: "How young people assess the value of information they find on the internet is important for them as individuals and for society as a whole.

"The research methodology is not rigorous, but it is adequate to draw attention to the issue and promote discussion and further research."