Starfish Family Mail, by Monte Goodman

This is a stand alone e-mail program from Lincoln Beach Software. You would use this in place of Outlook or Eudora or ?? As the name implies it is designed for families, especially ones with younger children. It has a deceptively simply main menu. Once you know the correct administrative password, just fill in the blanks on successive screens. You’ll need two basic passwords and one for each account. You’ll connect to the internet using one (presumably your own) user name. This program is designed to lay on top of that login ID and to create “accounts” for each family member.

Now comes into play Starfish. Each family member has a unique password (Oh! please write each one down EXACTLY as you will use it – this program is not sympathetic to those who forget!) You’ll first see a small, but all-important box into which you type the main password, which only you or a trusted sidekick will know, then onto the Account Information menu. Here you will provide a name for this unique account and unique password plus Attachment options (send & receive, send, receive, neither).

Still with me? Now comes the e-mail security – security for the account holder that is, not from external foes (which you should have already done via a firewall, antivirus, etc.) This will take some thought and you’ll be revising it as time goes by. This box is labeled “Approved to communicate with:” and it means exactly that. If an e-mail address is not listed in this box, the account holder cannot read the e-mail. You’ll simply see a note saying “ You are not authorized to view this e-mail” and a large red X by the incoming e-mail. This is “tough love” and you’ll be pleased that it is. It can be hacked, but not very easily – even the ubiquitous teen hacker will have an awesome.

This is not a particularly sophisticated e-mail program, but for a family that wants to control To/From e-mail for younger family members, you’re not likely to find a easier program to use. Think of it as a very large filtering program. Two web sites: general info and updates at and support forums at

Monte Goodman is a HAL-PC member and Help Desk volunteer who can be contacted at