Monday, May 14, 2018

Kids Email Review

The girls are no strangers to mobile technology, but anything that connects them to the greater world of the internet makes me nervous. They're definitely still young for social media, but even email can be tricky. I set Madison up with an email not too long ago for a variety of reasons (emailing her grandmother, connecting to her educational sites), but to be honest, I was too nervous to let her use it. Although I set it up as a sub account of mine, and with plenty of filtering, and I have total access, I was still horrified at the amount of spam that gets through. But I also didn't want them to not know how to communicate, or to have to rely on my account, or go only through iMessage with family. This offer to review a year's subscription really came at the perfect time. My girls now have their own Kids Email!  Both of them have been sending and receiving emails with a one-year subscription to Kids Email Safe Email for Kids

Kids Email

What I love about this is that it's the perfect bridge to electronic communication. It's a real email address. You can email people on other platforms, you can receive email from other platforms, and everything about it functions like true email. Your child sets up their account with their own name (I let my girls have free reign, which is how we have one dance driven name and one My Little Pony driven name) and password. However, the parent is still in control. There are options for every stage. A parent can say that email can only be sent to people in the contact list, received from people in the contact list, and the parent can even get a copy of all sent and received email in their own inbox.

Kids Email

Right now, I have the girls set up where they can only email people on their contact list and receive from people on their contact list, but I opted NOT to have copies sent to me. They are only emailing people I know, and I'm ok with that. If an email comes in from someone not on their list, I get a notification, and I can accept or reject it. I do have access to the account as a whole, so I can do periodic spot checks, same as I do with their messaging groups (they each have a group set up with their dance teams, and all the moms know about it and read through the chains periodically). The best thing about this is that we can adjust as necessary. It's teaching how to use technology with training wheels.

It's incredibly specific. You can restrict all attachments, allow all attachments, or go into detail (allow word, PDF, restrict pictures. Allow pictures, but no links). You can really fine tune the details. You can restrict access to certain times of day as well (we haven't done this, because we have control over the devices).

One other feature that we have not used yet, but that I think will be beneficial over the next few years as the children get older is the option to change the email from to ‘kmail’ and use an interface designed for older children/teens. This is a way to start that transition with older children to a "regular" email, but still monitor and guide their usage as needed without making them feel like they are using a "baby" email.

Since we're primarily mobile users, I wanted to make sure that this wasn't going to be web based only, and it's not. The app is incredibly easy. We all have it on our phones, and so far, that's what we've been using.

I can see all the accounts from my app.

The girls can email each other and get creative. All the emojis work, they can draw, and they can practice their typing.

All in all, I like this email program. We aren't using everything, but it's great to know that they've really thought of everything a parent might want. It's not free, but a year of access is $2.99/month for up to six accounts, and that's a small price when you consider all the monitoring and headaches that go on with a free web based email.

Safe Email for Kids {Kids Email Reviews}

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