06 February 2007

How to give your kid a personalized (managed) email address

John Watson (of Flagrant Disregard, LetterPop, and fd's Flickr Toys, among other things) wrote up a sweet little Gmail hack for setting up dummy email accounts for his kids (really just separate identities). He keeps track of the email, but their names appear in the From: line. Nice!

More on email + kids: Email for the underage, and a follow-up.

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I set up an account for my kids, so the email was captured for them later on in life.

I send them notes from me (dad) and tell them the cool things they did that day or week. One day I will give them the password and a few years of Notes from Dad.

I set up an e-mail account for my kid so I could create an amazon.com wishlist for the grandparents. He'll hate me for it when he's older just because of the e-mail name >:-)

I make up an account for each party we throw... Derekis5@... or LookWhoIsOne@... and put the email address on the invitations for people to rsvp to.

This is great! I've given my kids their own gmail accounts, but we never check them and always forget their usernames and passwords. So I've been using mine for setting the kids up on sites that I trust (like Lego.com), but this will work better. My son's been asking me all day today to go to this forum and put in my email address so he can sign up... ugh. I'll still watch where they're going, but I think this will be a bit of a relief for us both.

Or, you can use one of the services that provides rules for this kind of thing, which only gets more challenging (TIME CONSUMING) as kids get older.

For example, our kids are now 9 and 12 -- we want them to communicate with Grandma and cousins as much as they like (without our being in the way) but there are some situations we want to intercept and others where we just want a Blind-Carbon-Copy.

We use http://www.KidMail.net (the winner of these systems in my husband's thorough research).

Something that isn't totally obvious:

The Parent Log-in has always been strictly web-based so I can approve/reject messages whether I'm on the road or on my iPhone.

But now they're making the kids' log-in all web-based as well (it started as a program that would only download to PC's). Their support department -- which is great and let me say NONEXISTENT with some of the services my husband tried -- told us about the "beta" test.

This has been great because the kids can now access all their approved email whether he's out of town, or we're on vacation!

Hope our experience can help someone else :)

One of the safest way to protect children using email is to use a system designed for that purpose...not a hack.

We use http://www.kidsemail.org and we've been very happy.

Thanks Mike. We tried kidsemail.org and are very happy with it. It's just awesome!

y if we dont need ur help

Thanks Mike. very helpful.

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