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How to stop your kids buying apps, in-app purchases on your iPad, iPhone

Ashleigh Allsopp | July 24, 2013
Use restrictions, passcodes, new Apple IDs and iTunes Gift Cards to limit children's access to iOS devices.

Kids love iPads and iPhones. They're a great way to keep children entertained during the summer holidays, with hundreds of apps available for them to enjoy, including games, books, educational apps. However, in light of a recent bout of incidences that saw parents faced with huge iTunes bills after their kids had unwittingly downloaded apps and in-app purchases, it's worth taking precautions to ensure that your children aren't able to do the same while using your iOS device.

The easiest way to make sure that your kids don't end up downloading any apps or in-app purchases on your iOS device is to ensure that they never get hold of your password.

Each time they want to download or purchase something, it will ask for your Apple ID password. Enter your password yourself every time.

How to turn on restrictions on iPhone, iPad
Be aware that, when you enter your password, the default is that it will not need to be entered again for 15 minutes. Within that time, your children could accidentally download hundreds of pounds worth of in-app purchases.

For example, earlier this year, five-year-old Danny Kitchen was playing Zombies vs Ninja when he asked his dad for the password to the family iTunes account so that he could download the free-to-play app. However, Danny then went on to download a £69.99 in-app purchase 19 times within the next ten minutes as the password did not need to be entered again.

To change this setting and prevent this from happening, go to Settings > General > Restrictions, and then change the 'Require Password' setting to 'Immediately'. Now, every time your child goes to buy something, whether it is an app or in-app purchase, they'll be asked to type in the password before they can progress further.

To stop your kids from having access to the Restrictions menu and changing the settings back (if your kids are a little older and more tech-savvy), you'll be asked to set up a PIN code.

How to turn off installing apps on iPhone, iPad
You can ensure that your child doesn't download any apps at all by going to the Restrictions menu and changing the 'Installing Apps' slider to off. Within this menu, you can also turn off Safari, Camera, FaceTime, iTunes, iBookstore, Deleting Apps, Siri and Explicit Language for further control over your child's access to your iPad or iPhone's features.

How to turn off in-app purchases on iPhone, iPad
You can also turn in-app purchases off completely if you want to. You'll find the on/off slider just above the Require Password option in the Restrictions menu.

Within the Restrictions menu, you can also prevent kids from downloading content from the iTunes Store that may be inappropriate, by tapping each different type of content (music, movies etc.) and choosing your preferred age rating.

 

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