I have email accounts for my kids on Gmail, but I’m not going to let them use them. It’s basically so I can set up things for them online, like school stuff and education programs, with their own email addresses. Because of all the spam I get on my own personal accounts, I’m certainly not going to just let them view stuff on there! I use the accounts myself and they have no ability to access them.
However, I have heard about different email programs online for kids that are supposed to be safe and filter out all the horrible stuff that ends up on our (adults) emails. After wondering why adults don’t have the same luxury, I’ll just add it up to another one of the “perks” of being a grown up.
Anyway, hehe, one of these online sites is called Kids Email (dot org, not dot com). I’d checked it out before and it certainly gives parents quite a lot of options, even for teens. Aside from the standard bad word filters and contact list only contacts (wow, that sounded a lot better in my head!), it has features for both little kids and bigger kids.
Obviously, bigger kids and teens are going to have more abilities and not as many parental controls because, I hope, by this point you can trust them online a lot more. Little kids really don’t have many options to keep all those creepers away from them. (And they have cute stuff like the princess theme for messages!)
It doesn’t just block vulgarity and spam, but also helps you teach your children how to use their email properly in order to protect them in the future when you aren’t around to protect them. Everyone they have contact with, you can view via the parental controls. (Plus you can only allow access at certain times.)
Personally, I think we should have had this stuff 15 years ago when I was a kid! I know I got all kinds of crazy stuff by being on AOL (A/S/L anyone? Lol!) but my mom really wasn’t into computers and I had to fend for myself. My kids aren’t going to have to be like I was, growing up online alone and just winging it.
You can sign up over here and get a 30-day free trial and add up to three kids on it to see if it works for you and your family or not.