I was an internet geek before there really was an internet. I’m talking about back in the days of dial up modems when social networking consisted of other computer geeks hanging out on bulletin boards which were owned and operated by the people who used them. There was generally about two degrees of separation between anyone you might be chatting with in these groups (it was always friend of friends) but we still took internet safety seriously. We never used our real names or got too specific about where we lived. We sometimes arranged meet ups but they were always in groups and always in a public place. We were all in our teens or early 20s and did not allow anyone older than that to be part of our group.
Times have changed dramatically since then. We’ve gone from small, often local, chat rooms to global communications. I talk to people every day that I will most likely never meet. I get emails from people I didn’t even know existed. Internet safety is no longer just asking your buddy “Hey do you know this guy?” and being satisfied that his girlfriend’s best friend vouches for him.
Computers and the internet are just part of life now and the older our kids get the more they will engage with this ever expanding technology. Of course it’s our job, as parents, to keep them safe online. That can be a pretty big challenge, so it’s a huge bonus when we can take advantage of a great resource like KidsEmail.org to help us out.
“KidsEmail.org is a safe email service for kids and families. Your kids can now have a safe email account while allowing parents to be aware of any correspondence their children send and receive.
You supervise your children when they go outside to play. Do you know who is contacting your child inside of your home?”
I happened across KidsEmail.org a few months ago and immediately thought it was an awesome idea. So, I was really excited when I was given the opportunity to write a review about it.
So, how exactly does it work? Simple – you, the parent, set up a control account. Once you have the parent account set up you can add multiple kids email accounts. You have complete control over the kids accounts and the safety options are highly customizable.
Do you want to read every email coming to your kids account before they see it?
Do you only want to allow kids to send and/or receive emails from people in their contact list?
Do you want to disable links, images or other attachments in incoming emails?
Do you want to place a time restriction on when when your kids can log into their email account?
These are just a few examples of options available. You can read more about the features here. Of course the settings can be set differently for each kid’s account as well. Maybe your 6 year old who is only getting emails from aunts, uncles and grandparents doesn’t need offensive words filterer out but your 11 year old, with a broader contact list, does.
A couple of my favorite features:
- Adding a tagline to the bottom of every email sent from your kid’s account so that recipient know the email is being sent from a child
- If you have things set up to go into the mail que (so you can approve the email before your child sees it) you can have an email automatically sent so senders know that your email will be approved before it makes it your child.
The accounts are quick and simple to set up, customize and modify. I had one for my daughter up and running in a minutes. The interface for the kids is awesome. My daughter was delighted when we logged into her account for the first time to be greeted by a fairy princess!
There are several templates to pick from which is great. It gives kids the opportunity to also do some customizing and make it their own.
We tested out several of the features and safety settings and everything worked exactly as it should. The “bad words” filter caught the couple of four letter words that I tried to get through; emails that I sent from my work address went into the que for my approval as they were not in her approved contact list.; and the links that are part of my work signature were disabled (the text is there but they are not clickable links).
This is a safety service that I highly recommend. Kids need to learn about technology and this is a great opportunity to learn in a safe and supervised environment. It’s also a great opportunity to build on trusting relationships with your kids. With the ability to modify the safety features you can give your kids more control as you feel they are ready for it.
The best part is that you can try it out yourself for free for 30 days with no obligation. That means no need to enter any credit card information, no need to remember to cancel (not that you would want to cancel) before your trial is up. After your 30 day trial, if you decide to keep your account you can do so at a very reasonable subscription rate.
|Kids Email recently earned the PTPA seal of approval|
A big thank you to the folks at kidsemail.org for letting me try this service! This is a sponsored post but all opinions are 100% my own.