Setting up an email account for a kid is an action many parents view with percussion. One of the reasons is that a site or an email service cannot collect data for kids under the age of 13 unless they have verified parental consent according to the rules contained in COPPA (the Children's Online Privacy Act).
However, in a time when the whole world is transforming digitally, an email address is almost a necessity even for the youngest kids.
Google’s email service, the well-known Gmail, supports creating email accounts for kids under the age of 13 through an application called ‘Family Link app’. The Family Link app offers guardians multiple parental controls to monitor and overview their kids’ activity while they use the app.
If you're unfamiliar with Google's Family Link app, or you simply want to learn more about the process of creating email accounts for children, this blog post covers the most important aspects of it.
As explained earlier, in order for parents to create a Gmail account for their kids under the age of 13, they should download the Family Link App first.
Next, parents should follow the instructions for creating emails for kids, when done a confirmation will be shown on the screen.
As stated on Google’s Help page, Gmail for kids won’t be much different from the regular Gmail addresses adults use, except for a few exceptions.
Family Link App offers multiple parental controls that allow parents and guardians to keep their kids safe while they browse the Internet.
Here are some of the features the Family Link app supports:
When users create a Gmail account, they also get access to Google’s multiple tools like Google Drive, Google Documents, Google Sheets, and many more.
Furthermore, having a Gmail address will automatically create a YouTube account with the same username and password, since YouTube is one of the apps owned by Google.
In case you don’t want your kid to be exposed to potential adult content, you might want to consider downloading the YouTube Kids app.
Creating a Google account will allow kids to sign up for multiple other platforms for video conferences like Zoom, Microsoft Teams or for social media networks like Facebook, TikTok, Instagram, and Snapchat.
The Family Link app is designed specifically to help parents and guardians monitor what their kids are doing online. This app goes a step further by allowing users to locate their children as well.
So, with all those parental controls built-in within the app, Gmail should be a relatively safe app.
The downside of the Family Link is that it is only available for the latest versions of iOS and Android, meaning that users with older devices won’t be able to use the app.