So, we are thinking of setting up an email account for our seven year old and have a few questions. One, is this a crazy idea? He has some friends that don't live close so we think it would be nice if he could email them. Obviously, my wife and I would be able to check his account at any time and we'd also guard who he gave out his email address to. We'd also watch him actually write the emails for a while.
The second question is if there is a good email provider out there. Specifically, one that doesn't get too much SPAM. I know most, if not all, block SPAM, but they still put it in a folder. We'd rather not have him have any access to it. My Yahoo account gets tons of SPAM, but that also might be because I've had that email address for many years and put it out there on many web sites. Perhaps some of you have seen my videos?
Anyway, any help with this matter would be appreciated. He's our first so we are trying to figure this stuff out. We didn't have these issues when I was a kid. Thanks.
I think it might be better to set up a family email address that he has access to. That way he has no expectation of privacy and you can openly monitor it. I would do that until my kid hit 13, which is the general "adult" age on the internet. As for Spam, that's a hard one. Avoiding that stuff seems almost impossible. On a quick search I found this: http://www.kidsemail.org/ and this http://www.zoobuh.com/ (but it seems like they might both charge), I also saw something about a man who just created a send from address that was hooked to his gmail. http://lifehacker.com/235423/give-your-kids-personalized-gmail-addr...
Yeah, I would do a family one. We cheat because we have a server so our address is "email@example.com" but we have friends who have addresses like "firstname.lastname@example.org" I think the biggest issue is that he knows there is no privacy at any time.
If you keep the address private, you are less likely to get generic SPAM but you will still get some from the autobots who are out there guessing at email addresses. Most are pretty good at filtering it but I would still avoid Yahoo and Hotmail.
I've had gmail for a few years and have not had much spam at all. I'm kindof impressed with it. But I may have just gotten lucky. I had to set up an email for Big O's Kindle last month, but didn't want to use her name at all. She's "GirlOne@....."
Even if you do create a family email account, I would highly recommend having anything incoming be copied to your own personal account but not deleted from the family inbox. This would catch anything that he might be deleting after reading, if he's a sneaky kid. Not that any of our kids would ever be sneaky!
We're going through this now with N. He's 10 and wants an email account very, very badly. Mr. S has a few domain names registered and a couple of servers, so he's thinking of setting him up something like that, but linked to either my or Mr. S's gmail.
N did have a gmail account that was set up by one of his little friends. He had it for about a week before he felt so guilty that he told us and we deleted it--he was afraid that we'd get charged on our "internet bill" and then we'd know, and he wanted to avoid getting in trouble.
I agree with HBD on gmail's pretty impressive spam filter. I get very, very little. And really, no matter what you name it, it'll be like a "joint account" if you design it that way, with access to the password and arrangements to always be the ones who open and screen emails before he sees them, etc.
We have a bunch of email accounts around here--all gmail. We get very little spam. The family one (and the kid one, which he doesn't use) get forwarded to our individual accounts.
Our kids have had their own e-mail address for years. We also have our own service to all our addresses follow the email@example.com format, and the spam has been minimal. We actually work at reminding our kids to check their messages. It's a great way to learn typing, writing, reading etc. All of the distant family will send messages, and I send them stuff from work sometimes too.
They have no expectation of privacy mainly because we have explicitly said "You have no privacy." :) I'm much more concerned about FB, but so far they haven't asked for that.
1st Kid has an email address he uses it to communicate with the Grandparents who live far away and his godfather who had to move overseas for work. It is a Gmail account and he gets nearly no spam in it.
My daughter has had a gmail account since she was seven. We wanted her to be able to e-mail grandparents and other family members. Because she was so young, I set up the account for her and did not give her the password. When she wants to e-mail someone, or read her e-mail, she needs a parent to log on for her. For now, this works really well for us.
Girl Grey (9 yrs old) has a gmail account. We set it up for her when she was a tot so that she could have a good name. Wish we'd know Baby Grey would come along. She uses it only rarely and my husband and I have full access to it. She goes to a technology magnet school, so they use the internet all the time (not email)--she is very computer savvy. She occasionally emails friends from the summer music camp she attended. Few spam problems with gmail. Unfortunately, Girl Grey's name sounds Chinese, so at first she got some weird Chinese spam, but haven't seen any in years. I just checked her email and it hadn't been checked since Christmas Break and she had one spam message for Viagra.
It's not crazy and it's how people communicate now. You don't have to promote it, but I don't see any reason to be adamantly opposed to it.
I registered Girl Grey's Kindle under my amazon account and just renamed her Kindle to something she wanted. I don't want her buying books without my knowledge.