Kid Safe Mail®
A computer literate, knowledge-hungry and sociable nine-year-old – naturally he wants online access and his own email.
It’s like learning to cross the road, i tell him. Nothing to do with how bright you are, if you’ve never heard of juggernauts you won’t be watching out for them when you step off the kerb. That’s why, when you’re little, you start with the Green Cross Code and Mummy holding your hand.
The internet’s the same. Doesn’t matter how much sense you possess, you have no idea what’s out there to get you.
So far this way of presenting it has given us a child who is not too resistant to being sensible online, is being very open with us about which sites he’s visiting, and is asking before clicking through any links. Even if that means waiting while i get off the phone. (Wow. This is the same child who is totally blasé about road safety on actual roads, as well as heights, things that burn, things that cut bits off you, people that steal you, all the rest. I don’t dub him Tigger for no reason.)
A friend introduced us to Kid Safe Mail®. I’m spreading the word.
From Tigger’s point of view:
- He gets webmail with all the usual trimmings, including filters to deflect incoming mails into folders according to criteria such as who they’re from.
- He can see pictures that friends and family send him.
- Plus a Links page of sites designated safe – most of which are educational
- And a Games page (not terribly stimulating but some are fun) and a Jokes page where he can add to the list of kids’ jokes.
From my point of view, for $4 a month (or nine months for the price of twelve), i get peace of mind.
Do i sound like an ad? It’s just that so far i can’t fault Kid Safe Mail®. The website declares you have, as parents, total control over spam, viruses and inappropriate content (a phrase of many definitions).
- You choose exactly whose emails your child can see, with separate lists of approved addresses for incoming and outgoing mail. For instance, you could specify that he can send to his cousin, but not receive from that address if you’re not sure what the cousin may send back.
- You choose in how much detail to be kept informed. Blind copies can go to one or two people (two parents, or home and work, say), of all emails sent and received, or all that are blocked, or any combination of those.
- They claim ‘100% spam and virus free’. That’s a big, bold claim, but they’re confident to make it.
- They use the same security protocols as businesses use to take credit card information (a 128 bit encryption SSL certificate).
- My favourite option (it appeals to my sense of humour) is: I want all profanity replaced with the word BEEP.
The only thing you can’t choose is the ‘safe’ websites. You can’t add to that list, or remove sites from it (though i daresay they’d listen if you suggested another to add). That’s why i’d give Kid Safe Mail® 9 out of 10, and not 10.
Features, a user-friendly website, reasonable prices – that’s one thing. For me, shopping around for anything, customer service is huge.
I’ve emailed Kid Safe Mail® twice in the six months since we signed up. Once when PayPal told me i’d stopped paying, when i hadn’t but they were confused by my card’s expiry; once about what i thought was a mistake, which wasn’t. They have come back to me very quickly, within 24 hours – once within three-quarters of an hour. Polite, not patronising (even when i’d asked a patently silly question), and clearly having read my email. Which is sadly unfamiliar in the world of customer service.
So at the risk of discovering something horrible and disreputable about them the day after i post this [=joke], i can recommend Kid Safe Mail® with no reservations. How nice to be able to say that about a service.