This post is to gauge opinion really. I was running an e-safety session for a school this week and a parent of a year 3 child asked about setting them up with an email address. They asked if there was a way in which they could see all emails that the child sent/received. It got me thinking.

The obvious answer is for the parent to trust the child, talk to them about issues and to show them what to do if inappropriate messages are received.

The next step would be for the password to be shared with the parent so that they could log in and see the messages and folders. Of course, most children will know how to remove messages so that they can’t be found.

She asked if there was a way that all mail could be forwarded to her account. Now in Gmail, you can do just that. Every email that was sent to could also be forwarded to the parent’s account via a filter. Is this a way of a safety conscious parent managing their young child’s email address? Of course the child could remove the filter etc, but that’s a bit harder/less obvious than deleting messages from the bin folder.

I totally 100% agree that education and discussion are the ways forward, but is this a possible solution for people who just want that added protection? What steps would you suggest a parent take when they are giving their child their first email address?