4 Ways to Curb Kids' In-App Purchases
After an uproar from parents over their kids' over-the-top in-app purchase bills, Apple added some safeguards with an iOS update back in 2011. And Apple has just agreed to settle a lawsuit concerning kids' in-app purchases; the company will reimburse parents for all unauthorized payments.
Now, it's not hard to prevent your kids from racking up big bills with in-app purchases on an iPhone, iPod Touch, or iPad. Here are some pointers:
Turn it off. Use your phone's restrictions to simply turn off the ability to make in-app purchases. Go to Settings, General, Restrictions. Under "Allow," choose "Off" for in-app purchases. Important: Use a restrictions passcode (not the same as the phone's passcode lock) that your kid doesn't know and can't guess. If your child knows the restrictions passcode, he or she can disable the restrictions (kids would still need a password to make an initial app purchase; see below).
Turn off the grace period. Unless you're running a really old version of iOS (and if you are, it's time for an update), you have the option to either require a password immediately for any in-app purchase, or to allow a 15-minute "grace period" during which, after an initial in-app purchase, you can make purchases without re-entering the password for the iTunes account. Require the password immediately. (This setting is also found under restrictions.)
Keep your password a secret. The grace period won't do you much good if your kid knows your iTunes password.
Go with a gift card. Let's say you want to allow your responsible kid to make purchases, but not go wild. Opt to fund his or her iTunes account with an iTunes gift card instead of a credit card. In iTunes, just select "none" for credit card and instead enter the gift card information. Letting kids know how much they have available to spend should encourage them to budget wisely. And once they hit their limit, they're done. You can review their purchases within iTunes.
You can also set up a separate iTunes account for your kid using a gift card. Kids will then be able to make purchases if they're logged in to their own account (until it's drained, that is).
© 2013 Common Sense Media, Inc. All rights reserved.
Most Popular News
Iraq premier: Troops in center of Islamic State-held Tikrit
TIKRIT, Iraq (AP) — Iraqi forces battled Islamic State militants holed up in downtown Tikrit, going house to house Tuesday in search of snipers and booby traps, and the prime minister said security forces had reached the heart of the city.
Gary Dahl, creator of the Pet Rock, dies at 78
JACKSONVILLE, Ore. (AP) — Gary Ross Dahl, the creator of the wildly popular 1970s fad the Pet Rock, has died at age 78 in southern Oregon.
Obama signs order creating new cyber sanctions program
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama on Wednesday authorized a new U.S. government approach to deterring cyberattacks: financial sanctions against malicious overseas hackers and companies that knowingly benefit from the fruits of cyberespionage.
Tiny songbird tracked across 1,700 miles of open ocean
MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) — A tiny songbird that summers in the forests of northern North America has been tracked on a 1,700-mile, over-the-ocean journey from the northeastern United States and eastern Canada to the Caribbean as part of their winter migration to South America, according to a new study.