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How do I allow my child to receive instant messages?

The Instant Message controls in Parental Controls let you customise your child's instant messaging experience. You can determine whether or not your child can send and receive instant messages (IMs). You can also determine whether or not to block files, images, voice, and video within IMs.

Note: With the Kids Only category, instant messaging is blocked by default, but you can allow instant messaging and keep your child on a Kids Only screen name by using instant message controls.

Set your child's instant message controls

You can choose to allow or block instant messages to your child's screen name. You can also choose who your child can be allowed to instant message with.

To set your child's instant message controls:

  1. Go to http://parentalcontrols.aol.co.uk or sign on to AOL and visit AOL Keyword: Parental Controls.
  2. In the Edit Parental Controls section, click the link for your child's screen name.
  3. Click the Edit IM Control button.
  4. In the Tailor your child's instant messenger experience section, choose the appropriate selection for how you would like your child to be allowed to instant message by clicking it.
    You have the following three options:
    • Allow ALL users: This allows your child to instant message with anyone on the internet whether they are using the AOL service or the AOL Instant Messenger (AIM) service.
    • Allow only these users: This allows your child to instant message with only the users you list. Click the only these users link to specify who your child can instant message with.
    • Block ALL users: This blocks your child from being able to send or receive instant messages with anyone.
    Click the Block files, images, voice and video within instant messages box, if you wish to block these features. Leave the box unchecked if you do not wish to block these features.
  5. Click the Save button.
  6. Click the X in the upper right corner to close any windows opened by this process.


Parental Controls for Instant Greetings

You can help protect your children from unsolicited Instant Greetings messages by using Parental Controls. AOL's Parental Controls help you set limits on what your children can see and do while they are online. This protection is available for screen names under the Parental Controls category of Kids Only (ages 12 & under) and Young Teen (ages 13 to 15).

To set Parental Controls for Instant Greetings:

  1. Go to http://parentalcontrols.aol.co.uk or sign on to AOL and visit AOL Keyword: Parental Controls.
  2. In the Edit Parental Controls section, click the link for your child's screen name.
  3. Click the Edit Age Category button.
  4. You can select the Kids Only option or the Young Teen option by clicking it, as these options will prevent your child from receiving Instant Greetings instantly or via e-mail, by default.