Choosing the right email service for your kids

April 24, 2014

The inevitable question will come one day to parents in this digital age: “Can I have my own e-mail address?” Luckily, 79% of parents of 5 to 15-year-olds have talked to their child about staying safe online, and 45% do so on a monthly basis. To prepare your child for enriching and educational experiences online, and to help protect them from potentially inappropriate experiences, Cultural Care has rounded up what we think are the best email services for kids.

Tocomail launched last February as an email service inspired by kids and for kids. Co-founder Dennis Bolgov came up with the idea for a kids’ email application when his son Michael, then 7 years old, asked for his own email account.

  • Features offer parental controls that allow mom and/or dad to designate their child’s contacts
  • It allows parents to watch the content of the email messages with their profanity filter and a quarantine box where questionable messages are relocated
  • Tocomail includes fun tools like a drawing board, custom avatar creation, a picture timeline and more
  • In a future release, Tocomail will introduce technology that will watch for bullying patterns
  • Price: currently free to use, but a more comprehensive set of parental controls are available for $2.99/month or $29.99/year

Maily for iPad is a communication tool for kids to share messages and drawings in a kid-friendly interface that, allegedly, three-year-olds can use according to early tests. Consider it a pre-cursor to email for kids who are 5 to 8-years-old.

  • Emails can be created more creatively with pencils, brushes, photos, backgrounds, stamps, and audio
  • Accounts are created and supervised by parents on a personalized dashboard, accessible on any browser
  • Parent-approved contacts can reply using kid-friendly themes from Maily’s web-based inbox
  • The interface is absolutely adorable (unlike Tocomail or Zilladog, which can be overwhelming or too busy)
  • Price: free, but the app currently supports only one child per device

Zilladog is a free, safe, interactive browser created by parents for kids 6 to 13-years-old that includes a parent-controlled email service called ZillaMail.

  • This browser filters spam, chat rooms, pornography, and other inappropriate content, while offering a free, highly controllable email program
  • Parents have their own password to set up their children’s contacts and can be copied on all incoming and outgoing messages
  • Kids can only receive email from their approved “buddy list”, so there is no spam.
  • However, Zilladog site does accept advertising and offers links to popular movies, DVD’s, and Web sites
  • Price: two options between a free account or a premium account for $19.95 per year that includes extra features

To read more about parenting in the digital age, read our post about our kids’ digital identities.

 

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