From A to ZooBuh
If it sounds like AOL and Microsoft make you jump through considerable hoops to set up child-safe email accounts, it's because, well, they do.
That's why I'm partial to ZooBuh, a web-based mail service designed expressly with young users in mind. It's a cinch to set up, it offers more and better controls than AOL or Microsoft do, and it requires no extra software.
ZooBuh gives you total control over your children's email universe. By default they can receive mail only from users in the approved-contact list and can send mail only to those same approved users - but you can change either setting as you see fit. You can have copies of incoming or outgoing messages sent to your email address, remove images or links from your child's received mail, and block some or all attachments. ZooBuh also has a bad-words filter, with a box for adding your own unwanted words.
Both AOL and Microsoft offer controls more or less on a par with those, but what really sets ZooBuh apart is its interface: It's colorful, simplistic, and blissfully free of advertising. It even has an Easy version, aimed at younger users, that's even more colourful and simplistic. In short, this is what mail for kids should look like.
As you might have guessed by now, ZooBuh isn't free - but it's admirably inexpensive. Following a 30-day trial (which doesn't require a credit card), the service charges just $1 per month for each account. That's a small price to pay for safe, child-friendly email that takes all of about five minutes to set up. Your kids will thank you.
- Because its not just surfing the web that offers dangers
- AOL kids
- Windows Live Mail
- From A to ZooBuh