E-mail refers to text-based messages that are sent
electronically from one user to another, or to many others. E-mail can
carry attachments, including images, movies, and audio recordings.
E-mail is an enormously popular and common method of communication. Fast,
easy, and inexpensive, its how much personal and business correspondence
is handled. E-mail allows children to practice the art of writing, make
worldwide pen-pal friends, keep in touch with family, and get help with
- If your childs e-mail address is easily accessible,
such as on his or her personal Web page, its up for grabs by strangerseven
potential predatorswho can send out inappropriate
or harassing anonymous e-mail messages. Unsolicited commercial e-mails,
known as spam, can carry pornographic image attachments
or links to adult Web sites. Some adult-oriented spam is disguised as
ordinary e-mail, making it likely that a child will open it. Other spam
can automatically transfer users to an adult Web site, even if they
dont click on a link.
- Children can use their e-mail accounts to sign
up on listservs, or online mailing lists, that might include
sexually explicit images in some of the e-mails that are sent out to
- Parents should know that their children might
be using free e-mail accounts outside the home. It's not difficult to
set up such accounts.