How to stop kids from making in-app purchases (hint: turn the feature off!)

If you have kids and let them loose on your iPhone or iPad, have you ever thought about disabling in-app purchases? No? Well, you’re not the only one, and it’s costing parents a lot of money! There are countless numbers of entertaining and addictive iPhone and iPad apps out there – for you and your kids. Very many alway you to buy additional features, functionality and content via what are known as in-app purchases. All these in-app purchases can be great if they are productive and suitable for your needs. But it can be a little less pleasing when you receive a bill for £1,700 after handing your lovely child your iPad to play on a “free” app. If in-app purchase are enabled, and your iTunes password has already been entered, then it’s incredibly easy for a child to make now in-app purchases without realising the consequences. The bill can quickly increase! Don’t believe it? Well, about a week ago, a Bristol boy spent £1,700 on iTunes without knowing what he was doing: “I just clicked on it because it said it was free,” Danny said. His mother, Sharon Kitchen, declared: “To be honest, I'm not sure how he did it.” She added that he had asked for the passcode for a free download and then continued to play with the device for another 15 minutes. Luckily, Apple was “fantastic” and fully refunded his parents’ money. Martyn Landi, a writer with Apps magazine, said: “We are hearing stories like this all the time, so credit to Apple for paying the money back. But it is a risky strategy for parents to simply think they can claim the money back if all goes wrong. A few seconds spent checking these things can save a lot of money and stress in the long run.” So, if you don’t want to find yourself in a similar situation, here’s how to turn off in-app purchases. Just follow these steps: 1. On your iPhone/iPad home screen tap on Settings. 2. Go into General. 3. Scroll down until you see Restrictions and click on it. 4. Press Enable Restrictions. 5. After that, you will be required to set a passcode/password. This passcode will lock some functions of your device. You have to enter the password twice in order to set it up. 6. Now scroll down to Allowed Content and turn In-App Purchases from ON to OFF. 7. Now, nobody can download in-app purchases without filling in the passcode. Apple does provide a lot of parental controls and restriction tools to help users ensure these problems don’t occur. As Martyn Landi said, doing these things can save you a lot of money and stress in the long run. Did you ever experience something similar with your kid? Share your story with us!
May 07, 2014