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How to make a kid-safe Gmail account, with whitelist

September 8, 2011

this has nothing to do with writing, but I just learned how to do it today, and the instructions I found on other webpages was less helpful than I had been hoping.

So, you want your kid to have an email address with unlimited “buddies”, but you want those buddies to be screened by you, and you don’t want to pay for this service. No problem. Gmail to the rescue!

Go to gmail and ‘create an account.’ Pick a name that hasn’t been used by anyone, proceed through the registration process, and at last you will reach the brand shiny new Inbox.

Right near the top of the screen, in tiny font, you will find links to ‘Show Search Options’ or ‘Create a Filter’. Click on ‘Create a Filter’

You will have several boxes: From, To, Subject, Has the Words, and Doesn’t Have. Click on ‘Doesn’t Have.’ type the PERMITTED email addresses only into this box. Separate the permitted email address with Boolean OR, or the pipe symbol | (space | space). Leave the other boxes empty. Click ‘Next Step’.

Click the box that says ‘Delete it’. Click ‘Save or Update Filter’. That’s it! Because other emails (from spammers or anyone else) “Don’t Have” the correct email address, they simply get deleted. They do end up in the trash and are thus actually preserved on the account, but you have to LOOK for the trash. A parent could log in weekly (or daily) and empty out the trash if desired.

To update the list of email addresses, you ‘Create a Filter’ and then, below and to the left on the next page, you choose ‘Show Current Filters’. This will show you all the filters you’ve created and let you edit any or all.

There now. I can read this and remind myself how to do it if I ever need to do this again.

If you need instructions for doing this in the NEW Gmail format, click here for the revised walkthrough.


(And please, while you’re here, feel free to poke around my blog in general! I write a werewolf fiction series, Fae/Viking, post-apocalyptic and other fiction, plus Shakespeare! And poetry! And Ohmu plushies!)


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