Email for Junior: Setting Up Child Email Addresses
You can set up a Gmail or iCloud email account for a minor
Google and Apple offer powerful tools to monitor and manage email accounts for children
Use the experience as a learning tool for children
Have you noticed that everything requires registration these days?
Want to check out a new app? Enter your email address to register.
Want to visit a museum? Register with your email.
Want to set a dentist appointment? Email address, please.
If you can relate, you can say you're in the modern world. So, what happens to our children? How do they get access to cool learning websites, educational apps and school services? Just like us, with an email address.
Setting up the account
Unlike us, their email accounts must be thoughtfully set up and carefully managed until they get married (or at least until they are old enough to handle the responsibility).
You have three options:
Assign one of your personal email addresses for the child, or
Set up a mainstream email account using iCloud or Gmail.
If the third option appeals to you, read on!
Previously, email service providers restricted access to persons 13 years old and under. That has since changed. Just as you are instructed to place the mask over your own face before assisting children while in an aircraft if it loses pressure, you too must have an email address before setting up one for a minor.
Choosing the address
I think it's a good idea to create an address that your child will want to graduate into. Consider using their “Government” name, reverse their name, use a pet, a generic name or an alternate spelling of their name. Regardless of your choice, set up the account with an eventual handover in mind.
Set up an iOS Email Account (note, a credit card is required for set up, but not charged)
Set up a Google Email Account
Once set up, configure the account to protect your child and ensure oversight.
Restrict access to a single device (or two if they have their own device and you monitor with another)
Set up forwarding, so that every email sent to the account is also forwarded to your account
Enable two-factor authentication (2FA) tied to your handset or account so that passwords can’t be changed without your knowledge.
Use as a learning tool
It may seem counterintuitive to set up an email address for a small child, but don’t be daunted. Use the experience as a learning tool. Encourage your child to compose and send email to their grandparents or other family members to reinforce spelling, sentence structure and punctuation. Capitalise on the opportunity to teach safe online practices from the get-go (and not after the fact).
Having a secure email address is but one of many ways we can protect our children from digital dangers.