CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - It's become a rite of passage for your kids. New hairstyles, listening to new music, getting their drivers' license. All things you went through as a kid but there's a new twist to growing up now. They want to know when they can get an email account.
According to the recent Kaiser Family Foundation study, kids 8 to 18 spend almost 8 hours a day connected to devices. That's a lot of connectivity. Then your kid asks you for their own email account, is this safe and should you let them have one?
Before you answer "yes" consider these points:
If you decide to say "yes", I have 4 quick tips to keep your kids safe:
Web Resources to Help You Set Up Email for Your Kids:
There are many email services. We have highlighted just a few of the free services available to you. Make sure you check the age requirements before you sign up your kids:
1. Hotmail lets you filter messages. You can use their free version or can purchase a $20/year service that blocks ads. They have a Hotmail Kids web page at:
3. Google says children must be 13 or older. Google has a section dedicated to kids' online and email safety:
4. Yahoo offers a family account for kids under 13 at:
7. Comcast launched KidZui.com which allows kids to play games, surf the net and send emails in a controlled place.
8. AOL offers KOL for kids. It's free but to prove you are an adult, you have to sign up with a credit card kowhich is charged $1 and promptly credited $1. http://kids.aol.com/
There are several services that you can pay for that give you some added controls with your kids' online email and other activities. We have highlighted two of those Paid Services: