As parents we have been warned of the increasing risk of identity theft to our children, often because information is so easy to access. But there are also a number of other online dangers that parents need to address as our children use the Internet more frequently. These dangers include cyber bullying, stalking, pornography, spam, viruses and inappropriate email messages and pictures. With children ranging in ages from 17-6 I’ve found that somethings work for keeping the older children safe online and some things work well for keeping the younger children safe online, especially while they are sending and receiving email. One of my favorite tools so far I have found for the younger children is Kids Email.org.
Kids Email is an email system that is designed with kids ages 6-12 in mind, but there is also a teen tool available. Here is what Kids Email does in a nutshell:
We decided to give Kids Email a try, since I refused to give in to the younger children’s request for a cell phone and email is one of the ways that they can easily keep in touch with grandparents which live far away. Here are some of the features mom liked:
privacy, security and safety online
filters out all the “stuff” and just offers the kids a clean and easy to use email system
several different features that I can tailor towards our family’s specific needs and concerns
easy to set up and use
free trial with no credit card required
Kids Email.org is easy to use. You simply register (no credit card required) and then answer some simple yes or no questions about the security settings you want to use. These questions include things like do you want copies of emails sent and received sent to your email or who do you want to allow emails from? You can set up more than one email address so you can tailor made your security settings age appropriate for each child.
One of the things I liked about these settings is that I can manage the kids email accounts down to the minutes they spend on there as well as even ground them from their email and set the dates and times of the “grounding.” I hope I don’t have to do that, but it is nice to know that these options are there if I need them. I can also run reports of the activity on the accounts.
Next the girls got to jump in and have some fun. They selected from 10 different templates that gave them a specific look whenever they signed into their email. My middle daughter selected the princess fairy template which gives her a cute pink and purple background for her email account. Then the emails began! Just to test drive they sent emails to grandma, grandpa and dad and once they received responses I think that they were hooked! (I recommend sending all those who may be getting a message from the kids a message about the new account so that they recognize it and can add it to their safe list).
I like that I can design each email account to do what our family needs it to do for security, safety and fun. KidsEmail provides a safe way to teach my children about email and Internet responsibility and use as they learn all those rules that even the most mature adult has trouble remembering sometimes, because after all “my friend sent it to me” so it must be safe.
There is a one month free trial available, but after that it is a paid service. I know what you are thinking, but guess what you don’t have to give your credit card to get the free trial. That was a big plus for me right at the beginning. The current price is 13 months with up to six email accounts for $38.95.