Have questions about your new Gabb device?
Get Answers.

Is it Safe to Create a Gmail Account for Your Child?

Words by
Jake Cutler

SEP 01, 2023

Is it Safe to Create a Gmail Account for Your Child?

As parents, we understand how difficult it can be to keep tabs on a child’s online activities. Even pretty pedestrian tools like email can pose risks to kids who aren’t ready to navigate the digital world.

Every kid is different, of course, but most are too young to need email. As they progress toward adulthood, however, the need will definitely arise. One McKinsey study found, “the average worker spends an estimated 28 percent of the workweek managing e-mail.”

Whether it’s their first job, scholastic responsibilities, or an extracurricular commitment, a time will come when setting up their own email account becomes necessary. It is a tool they should learn how to use safely and they’ll need your help. Parents should be intentional about when and how they allow kids to set up their own email accounts. 

In this post, we touch on the dangers of allowing children to use Gmail accounts, how Gmail compares to other email providers in terms of safety, and the measures you can take to ensure your child’s online safety.

Much of what we cover below applies beyond Gmail alone but we’ve focused specifically on Gmail because, at 1.2 billion users worldwide, it’s the world’s most popular email service provider. 

gmail on cell phone screen

Gmail is the biggest, is it the safest?

As just one arm of the tech behemoth, Google, it’s probably no surprise that Gmail is the industry leader. But it’s more than just brand recognition that has landed Gmail the huge market share it has.

Gmail has a lot of benefits: a large storage capacity, a user-friendly interface, and the ability to use some parts of Gmail offline to name a few. It also has its fair share of risks.

One of the most significant risks associated with Gmail is that it allows children to receive unsolicited emails, which can result in spamming, hacking, phishing, and other online dangers

If a child hasn’t learned the basic principles of smart online behavior—like protecting private information or recognizing signs of grooming—then providing them with their own email account will expose them to risks they aren’t ready to handle.

Gmail is not a bad option for a teen who needs their own account and has matured and learned crucial tech skills. It does offer unique security features such as a strong email filter that detects phishing and scam messages, reducing the likelihood of your child getting spam emails. Compared to other email service providers, Gmail is a good option. So the bigger question is whether your child is ready for email at all.

father and son look at a laptop screen together

Setting up an account for your child

Even with Gmail’s unique security features, parents should be active participants in helping their teens learn how to responsibly use email. If you feel your child is ready, create a Google account together and help them decide on a good email address and password.

Setting secure passwords is a crucial online skill so setting one together gives you a natural opportunity to teach them.

It’s also important to consider when and how they use their account. Giving your child access to email on a personal device should be a separate consideration. They may be ready for an email account before they’re ready for the freedom that comes with a full smartphone. Maybe a good starting point for your teen is to help them set up an account but restrict access to a family computer in open spaces in the home.

At Gabb, we’re big believers in giving kids access to tech in steps. Throwing them in the deep end with a full-fledged smartphone as a first device is simply too dangerous. Even if you feel your child is ready for email, you may be more comfortable giving them a device without social media or full access to the internet

What do you think?

What worries you most about giving a child their own email account? What have you done that has helped protect them? Let us know in the comments below!

Comments

  • Destiny Taplin on Dec 23, 2023 08:33 AM

    Yes

Like the post? Leave a comment!

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Success!

Your comment has been submitted for review! We will notify you when it has been approved and posted!

Thank you!

Share this article with...