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Hotmail Kids

Hotmail Kids — This tutorial discusses the options you have when considering opening a Hotmail account for your kids. "Hotmail Kids" is not currently an offering Windows Live Hotmail provides for children, which means that if your kids are going to use Hotmail, they will be using the same version of Hotmail you are using yourself. This tutorial will explain several options you have in opening a Hotmail account for children, and how to configure it so that your kids are safe, while using a Hotmail account. This tutorial will show you ways to help you setup Hotmail for kids: responsible parenting, and kids, especially young children, should have supervised access to the internet only — in our opinion.

Hotmail Kids and Ads

The first problem we see with Hotmail and kids is ads: the free version of Hotmail (the one you are automatically using when signing up), contains graphical ads, some of which may contain questionable images, fine for adult for certainly unfit for young children. So, if you plan on letting your kids use a Hotmail account from a web browser (as opposed to a desktop email client like Outlook Express or Windows Live Mail), our first recommendation would be to sign up for Hotmail Plus, a $20/year service that —in addition to increasing storage and other goodies— suppresses the ads altogether.

Maximum safety for Hotmail kids

But the safest Hotmail kids experience is to setup Hotmail in a desktop email program: unlike the live version of Hotmail, an email program gives you full control over which emails get through to your inbox. When using Windows Live Hotmail from a browser like Internet Explorer or Firefox, there are only limited ways you can filter incoming mail: everything goes to your kid's Hotmail inbox, or the Junk (spam) folder: in both cases, no emails are deleted, and can be clicked by your children, voluntarily or not.

Letting your kids use Hotmail from a browser and telling them not to look at the content of the junk mail folder is not a feasible solution, since inappropriate mail always filters through to the inbox - no spam blocker is perfect.

Here is the best solution to let your kids use Hotmail:

Hotmail kids inside an email program

By setting up Hotmail inside a modern email program, you have full control over the emails that go through to the inbox: by setting up "rules", you can tell your email client to delete any email that does not come from a pre-approved sender, etc. (This is something you can do in conjunction with Firewall spam filtering options, but in addition to being complicated, it will affect anyone using the computer/network behind the firewall).

We will update the list below when more tutorials are created for other desktop email clients, but in the meantime, here is how you setup email rules (aka "email filters") in these email programs, to keep your kids safe with Hotmail:

By creating email rules/filters that delete any non-approved email, you are making already a huge step towards a safe email experience for kids. Again, kids will always be safest online when supervised by adults, whether they are using Windows Live Hotmail or surfing websites for children outside Hotmail.

Conclusion for Hotmail & kids

Here is a brief page that will help you make it safer for your kids to use Hotmail. This tutorial will be updated as we get new information on Hotmail kids, whether it comes from us, or from concerned parents who share with us their tips on making Hotmail (and email in general) safer for kids and older children.

Hotmail Tutorial The new Hotmail Hotmail.com Create a Hotmail account Hotmail sign in Hotmail sign out Read your Emails Read your emails Show images and content Download attachments Delete email messages Delete all emails from a person Unsubscribe from mailing lists Mark emails as Unread / Read Hotmail Instant Actions Unflag / Flag email messages Hotmail Quick Views Compose & Send Emails Hotmail email Reply to emails Forward emails Compose a new message Formatting emails Send attachments File attachment size limits Add pictures to your emails Create a signature Sending emails Send mail from other accounts Send plain text emails Change importance of emails Select multiple emails Spam & Junk Mail Filtering Mark spam email as junk mail Spam and junk mail settings Block email senders Unblock email senders Report phishing scam emails Standard Hotmail Folders The standard folders Hotmail Inbox Hotmail Junk folder Hotmail Drafts folder Hotmail Sent folder Hotmail Deleted folder Show or hide email folders Custom Hotmail Folders Create a new folder Rename a folder Empty a folder Delete a folder Mark an entire folder as "Read" Hotmail Contacts Hotmail Contacts Add a sender as contact Create a new contact Edit contacts' information Delete a contact Remove duplicate contacts Import contacts into Hotmail Export Hotmail contacts Contact categories Copy / transfer Hotmail contacts Add picture to contacts Block emails from non contacts Add Safe Senders to Hotmail Hotmail Tips and Tricks Hotmail Tips View email headers X-Originating-IP Show / hide basic headers View emails full screen Check for new emails Print email messages Hotmail Help Add another email account Check another email account Sort your emails Find emails with "Search Tool" Create email filters Automated vacation replies Use Hotmail as default email Hotmail account start date Configure Hotmail Settings Customize Hotmail Options Hotmail Login Hotmail accountCheck last Hotmail accessChange "From" name in emails Change password Reset your Hotmail password Change security question Forward emails to other account Skip "Hotmail Today" Change Reply-to email address Disable sent email confirmation Show conversations / threads Disable conversation grouping Disable photo / video previews Change Hotmail language Hotmail.com in English Hotmail.com en Español Change country setting Change birthday / birth date Keyboard Shortcuts Delete your Hotmail account Reading Pane Settings Change Theme Switch back to the old Hotmail Save / delete sent messages Change Hotmail address Change profile picture Change Hotmail account Other Products & Services Hotmail Messenger Hotmail Messenger Download Hotmail Plus Cancel Hotmail Plus Hotmail Customer Service Hotmail Live Hotmail Kids Set Hotmail as homepage in IE Hotmail as homepage in Firefox POP & Mail Server Settings POP3 settings IMAP Settings Incoming Mail Server Setup Hotmail on iPhone Hotmail Outlook settings You've reached the daily limit Outlook Connector Hotmail Gmail Hotmail Yahoo!
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