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Top tips to keep your children safe when emailing

It's not just surfing the web that offers dangers

We all know it's important to keep our kids safe when it comes to browsing the web, but what many of us overlook is the dangers that email holds. We've looked at three email services that offer parental controls in a bid to help you decide which is right for your child

Surely, you say, there must be a simple way to let kids exchange messages with family members and friends while protecting them from online predators, crude spam, phishing messages, and the like. In other words, if there's a NetNanny, there must be a 'MailNanny' too, right?

Well, not really. But this quick guide will help you pick the most age-appropriate email setup and give you tips to keep the deluge of online indecency from reaching your little ones.

Anybody familiar with Gmail knows that it does a pretty good job of blocking spam and viruses, so why not just create a new account for your teen or tween?

You could, but Gmail's browser-based interface isn't exactly kid-friendly. Plus, it offers no parental controls, such as the highly desirable option of creating an approved-senders list (grandma, yes; chunkylover53@aol.com, no). Some creative filtering might do the trick, but who has the time (or degree in computer science) for all that?

As a busy parent, I certainly don't have that kind of time, which is why I'm test-driving three other options: AOL, Windows Live Mail, and a service called ZooBuh. Each lets you set up individual accounts for your kids and helps enforce various usage restrictions, such as who they can email and who can email them. Here's what you need to know about all three.

NEXT PAGE: AOL kids

  1. Because its not just surfing the web that offers dangers
  2. AOL kids
  3. Windows Live Mail
  4. From A to ZooBuh

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