Worried that your child might accidentally run up your credit card bill every time he or she sits down to play on your iPad? If stories of unauthorized in-app purchases have you placing your iPad under lock and key, you’ll be excited to hear some recent news from the Federal Trade Commission and Apple.
Earlier this year, Apple agreed to change their in-app billing system in response to an FTC complaint that found the company charged consumers millions of dollars for unauthorized in-app purchases from children. As part of the settlement, Apple will refund nearly $32.5 million in purchases as well as change its billing methods in order to obtain “express, informed consent” before any in-app purchase is made.
The agreement with the FTC extends Apple’s existing refund program for unauthorized in-app purchases. Once implemented this spring – Apple has until March 31 to rollout billing upgrades – Apple’s in-app purchasing system will require informed consent for any transaction. It will also give consumers the
option to withdraw consent at any time.
That being said, you can never be too careful when it comes to kids and credit cards. Add an extra layer of oversight to your Apple ID account by making it impossible for little fingers to automatically trigger purchases; create an Apple ID that has no affiliated credit card information. Then, whenever your child is playing with your iPad, simply log into the unaffiliated ID to avoid any possibility of purchase.
Not sure how to create an account without a credit card? Here’s a quick tutorial.
Creating an Unaffiliated Apple ID
- Fire up the App Store on your Apple tablet. At this point, you’ll be logged into your primary account, one that likely already has a credit card affiliated to it. Scroll down to the bottom of the main store page and click on the Apple ID button at the bottom to sign out of this account.
- Once you have fully signed out of your account, browse through the store until you find a free app that you’d like to add to your device (our new Busytown Mysteries experience should do the trick nicely).
- Select the app and then click on the “FREE” button to trigger the installation.
- At this point, you’ll be presented with the option to “Sign in” either by using and existing Apple ID or creating a new Apple ID. Select the “Create a New Apple ID” option.
- Fill in the necessary account information in order to create your new Apple ID. This will require an email that is not already associated with an Apple ID, password details and security questions, date of birth and an optional rescue email.
- On the Billing Information screen, make sure that the “None” option is selected. Fill out a valid address and click the “Create Apple ID” option.
An email will be sent to your inbox that will enable you to confirm the account. Once that’s complete, the Apple ID will be active. Whenever you give your iPad to your child to play with, make sure that this is the Apple ID that’s active. While your child will have the ability to download free content to the device, he or she won’t be able to trigger any paid downloads.
And you can stop having reoccurring nightmares about unauthorized payments.
Ahhhhh serenity now!
Looking for more ways to keep your kids safe on your iPad? Then check out this post on how to turn on Apple’s Guided Access Feature.