In the interest of honesty, I did not jump on the opportunity to review Kids Email Safe Email for Kids by Kids Email. We had an e-mail program that we had been using without a lot of problems and I was not sure that we needed something new. However, I knew that it might be beneficial to some of my readers, so we ‘took one for the team’. My original plan was for us to use it just with-in our home to test out the features and be able to share our experiences with everyone. After testing it out and trying some of the features we are in the process of switching the children over to using it full time.
There are many great features included with this email program. There is mail monitoring, time restrictions, a mail queue, several content and language filters, activity log, and attachment controls just to name a few. While we have not yet tried out all of the features, there are several that we tried and really liked.
The mail monitoring and mail queue were features that I knew were requirements in our family for a kids email program. Both my 10 and 11 year olds were using the program and I wanted to make sure I had a good handle on any emails that were coming in. Using this program, I was able to see any email that was sent or received. Those emails were limited to contacts that I had approved. Any emails that did not fit those parameters would be sent to the mail queue. This would allow me to approve it or deny it and see what someone was trying to send to my children.
Time restrictions would have allowed us to restrict the times and days that the children had access or even ground them from their email for a certain amount of time. We did not take advantage of this feature because we already use a timer on their devices but I could see how it would be very helpful if you only wanted them to use email after school was finished or before a certain time at night.
Another feature that I appreciated was the activity log. I could go in and see when they children had been logged in and what e-mails they had sent each day. This was a great way to keep track of their usage in an easy to use format. As you can see in the picture below it let me know that date and time for each activity.
As we used the program we did run into one small problem which ended up being operator error. There is a feature that allows or disables attachments. I had allowed attachments but when I sent an e-mail with a word document the attachment was not going through. When I looked into it a little further I realized that the feature had controls that allowed you to choose certain types of attachments to allow and it had defaulted to not allowing word documents. It was a quick fix, but I mention it here so that if you try out this email you know to go into all of the features and set them to allow you to use it as you feel best.
One other feature that we have not used yet, but that I think will be beneficial over the next few years as the children get older is the option to change the email from kidsemail.org to ‘kmail’ and use an interface designed for older children/teens. This is a way to start that transition with older children but still monitor and guide their usage as needed without making them feel like they are using a ‘childish’ program.
We started by simply using this email as a way for me to communicate my children’s daily tasks to them. I would send them an email at night with a list of assignments, chores, and activities for the next day. Since they enjoyed it and the features were so beneficial we are switching it to their primary email. This way they can use it to keep in contact with various family members. If you are looking for a way for your children to be able to use e-mail but still keep them safe and not have to worry about spam or ads, I encourage you to check out Kids Email Safe Email for Kids .
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