Email and Child Safety when Children Online? | Indian Parent Guide

Why it is important to discuss Email and Child Safety?

Email and Child Safety? What is that, right? Why would a child use an email? Don’t we have many other online threats that are affecting a child? Calm down we have an answer to all of these.

  • We’re often so concerned over the impact of social media, online gaming, and chat sites that we tend to ignore one of the most common threats to online safety for young people and children, email.
  • While it’s a more manageable element, it does carry plenty of dangerous potentials.
  • In reality, it doesn’t take too much of a technical genius to enter into a search engine, “fake email accounts” or something similar.
  • The returned results, such as Fake Email Generator, Mailinator, ThrowAwayMail, and Fakelnbox are all designed to help you create a fake account that can either be single-use or used regularly.
  • This of course means that a person is able to create a false persona and sign up for Facebook and the like using a browser’s private function and have access to accounts without someone else knowing.

How does email can effect Child safety?

  • This works both ways, from the point of view of the young person gaining access to a site they shouldn’t and for someone who’s creating accounts ready for grooming, or something similar.
  • With access to a fake email, a young person has the potential to get into a variety of potentially dangerous situations.
  • They could be contacted by someone who is trying to groom or send radicalized content, they could also become the subject of a hack and unwittingly execute code that can deploy a virus, ransomware, or other malware, along with a possible backdoor, hacks to gain access to the system the young person is using.
  • It’s not just fake email sites that pose a danger when it comes to young people and children; although fake email sites usually don’t have the better protection and anti-malware restrictions that more legitimate sites employ.
  • Google Mail, Yahoo, and so on can represent a weak link in the chain of digital protection for children and young people. Email and Child Safety is not just a thing to avoid of ignorance.
  • The dangers are mostly the same but thankfully these online m providers have better levels of malware protection.

What is a parent’s strategy to combat Email and Child safety?

So how would you, as a parent or guardian, combat potential email threats for children and young people?

  • You may not be able to police their mobile accounts all the time but you can insist that they allow you access to the account on a regular basis to check that they’re not in conversation with someone unknown, or that they’re not receiving and responding to reams of spam and malware-ridden emails.
  • However, that does seem something of an Orwellian approach to managing a young person’s email account.
  • Another possibility is to set up a family email account, separate from the parents or guardians’ accounts, where the entire family has access and can utilize to sign up for games, safe sites, and the like.
  • It’ a more open approach, whilst still preserving privacy for the adults and if you use folders within the email client or website, then there’s some privacy for the young person too.

Naturally, the best form of email attack and threat prevention is through education. Both the NSPCC and Childline recommend that you talk to your child and come up with a set of workable rules and conditions that are fair but protective.

Educate them on the dangers of communicating with a stranger and inform them that online grooming takes place and how it works, also include how viruses work and other forms of malware, and how phishing and other forms of threats work too.

Some tips that we as parents can use to help children?

  • Treat all people on the Internet as strangers, even those who could be friends.
  • Never give out any personal information via email to an unknown source or site.
  • Be wary when choosing an email name, don’t use anything to identity your gender or
    anything provocative.
  • Never open an email attachment. Check with a parent or guardian first.
  • Never reply to an unknown email and never send any images of yourself.
  • Always tell a parent, guardian, or teacher if you’ve been contacted by someone you don’t know.
  • Never respond to a threatening email or someone attempting to bait you into contact.
  • Don’t always believe everything you read in an email. Phishing attempts come as virus hoaxes.
  • Don’t believe you’ve won £1,000,000 or react to limited time ridiculous offers on technology or fashion. It’s nearly always fake emails trying to get you to visit a site.

We have separate content on children’s online safety tips and tricks. Check it out here.

Another possibility is to use one of the many child-friendly email programs and online services. There are ample available to try out and over the next couple of pages, we take a look at ten of the more highly recommended services.

Email at first doesn’t appear to be too much of a concern for the parent or guardian, after all, we can view what emails are coming into our accounts.

However, it’s not too difficult for a tech-savvy youngster to create an alternative email account, usually one that’s web-based, that they can use to access games and sites you wouldn’t normally allow them to.

Top Child-Friendly Email Programs and services:

An email account for a child or young person is a great way for them to communicate with friends and family; however, as we’ve seen, it can be a dangerous tool. Therefore it’s best to ensure they’re using a safe, child-friendly email account.

Top Ten Child Safe Email Accounts

It’s not always easy to police and monitor an email account, so here are ten child-friendly email accounts and related services that will help make the job of keeping children safer when communicating via email.

ZILLAMAIL

  • ZillaMailis run under the ZillaDog.com brand, created by parents for children.
  • It’s easy to use, friendly service that also combines child safe online games and links to child safe websites, such as Cartoon Network and the like.
  • ZillaMail has some interesting aspects and features, which makes it an excellent choice for parents and guardians.

ZOOBUH

  • ZooBuh has an impressive list of benefits and features for parents and guardians to look over when considering an email provider for their child.
  • Adjustable spam filtering, the ability to delete attachments, block specific senders, see activity logs, and a Predator Catch Phrase alert system all add up to great service.

KIDS EMAIL

  • KidsEmail is a paid-for service, offering a 30 day free trial period.
  • For your money you get mail monitoring for all incoming and outgoing emails from the child’s account, time restrictions, blocked senders, no adverts, spam filtering, and an easy way to add friends and family contact details.

KIDMAIL

  • Kid Mail is a low-cost subscription email service that caters to both young children and older young people.
  • Parents and guardians have full control over the email account and the messages that come and go from the child’s account, along with many other benefits and features.

TOCOMAIL

  • Another well-presented service, Tocomail offers the child, parent, and guardian a wealth of fun and useful features.
  • It brings a lot more than just email to the table, for example, children get access to a drawing board app, to create their own attachments, whilst parents get notifications via an app when the child has received an email.

SAFENSOUNDMAIL

  • SAFE-n-SOUND-mail has plenty of features available to those who purchase the subscription; however, there’s a free 30-day trial, to begin with.
  • There’s support for Apple, Android, Windows, Mac, and Chromebook devices, up to five child accounts available, customizable controls and settings, and elevated levels of encryption.

GMAIL

  • Providing your child is thirteen years or older, they can get access to a Gmail account.
  • Gmail isn’t the first email service that springs to mind when considering a young person friendly email account but with careful use of its filters, you can set up a good and reasonably safe email environment for them.

FAMILY LINK

  • Part of the services offered by Google, Family Link can help you set up a Gmail-like account for children under the age of thirteen.
  • You need to be located in the US for the moment but the service offers improved controls for Android devices and apps and there are considerations for moving the service outside of the US in time.

MAILY

  • This is a child-friendly email app for iOS and Android devices.
  • It’s fun to use, secure and offers the parent or guardian ample control and restrictions for the child’s account.
  • With it, children can stay in contact with specified contact lists, whilst still remaining safe online.

SCHOOL EMAIL

  • Here’s an interesting suggestion, why not use the child’s school email?
  • Providing the school is willing to participate, a child can log into their account from home and using the elevated security, send and receive emails in total safety.
  • Naturally, you’d need to confirm with the school prior to using the email for personal contact.

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