A survey has found that Irish parents are among the most protective in the EU when it comes to allowing their children access to the internet.

The survey found that among parents of six to 17 year olds across the EU found that Irish parents are the least likely to allow their children to give out personal information, talk to strangers, visit chat rooms or use email or instant messaging.

They are also more likely to limit the amount of time their children are allowed to spend online and to have rules to stop them from setting up a profile on an online community.

The Eurobarometer survey conducted on behalf of the European Commission examines parents' views on the safety of the internet for children.

More than 8 out of 10 Irish parents will not allow their children to buy things over the internet.

However, they are more lenient on the question of downloading or playing music, films or games.

Only 3 out of 10 have rules about this compared to 6 out of 10 German parents.

After the British, Irish parents are the most likely to have monitoring or filtering software installed on the computer their children use at home.

Almost three quarters have this type of software compared to just a fifth of Romanians.

Of the minority who have not opted for it, more than a third feel they do not need it as they trust their children and more than a quarter do not know how to access it.