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How to make a Kid-Safe Gmail account, with whitelist (new Gmail format)

March 20, 2013

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.

From the inbox, click the icon of a gear (tools) in the top right corner. Scroll down to ‘Settings’ and click.

At the top of the page, from the row of blue links, choose ‘Filters’.

At the bottom of the page, from a  pair of blue links, choose ‘Create a New Filter’

It will pop up a box with areas for ‘From,’ ‘To,’ ‘Subject,’ ‘Has the Words,’ and ‘Doesn’t Have’.

Type this exactly: -{ followed by 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 ‘Create Filter With This Search”.  Type } to close the group. When you update this in future, make sure to put new email addresses inside the curly brackets, separated by pipe symbols.  What this means is: Everything NOT inside these curly brackets.

Now you will see a page with a series of clickable boxes. Click the box that says ‘Skip Inbox, 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.

Repeat the process above and make a second filter, except WITHOUT the -{ }. Put the same list of email addresses in it.  When you get to the check box step, click ‘Never Send it to Spam’.

To update the list of email addresses, you merely to to ‘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.

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