If you have children, they will inescapably want to use your iPhone or ipad.
And of course they are trying all the functions they can and will sooner or later stumble over the App Store. Now that’s a shiny world full of Candy, and while a buck or two for an app doesn’t sound like much, it can sum up to a considerably amount of money. Especially when you have no idea that this money has been spent …

The App Store looks like a world full of Candy to your children!

And of course not everything in the App Store is appropriate for children, this is one more reason to stay in control when your children are using your iPhone or iPad.
The iTunes Store and the App Store were developed by Apple to allow users to download music, movies, apps and other items.  Purchasing items to download is easy and convenient. So easy, in fact, that active little fingers can unknowingly pile up charges on your account.
Fortunately, your iPhone or iPad allows you to take measures against unwanted shopping.
First you need to know a thing or two:

  • Your Apple ID and password are required to purchase items from iTunes or the App Store.  When you initially setup your device, your Apple ID is automatically stored in the Settings app. For your reference, you can find the Apple ID by opening the Settings app and selecting iTunes & App Stores.
  • Protect your password! While this sounds simple and should be something we do anyway, we may run into a situation where we give away our password. It is family, after all, and you can trust them. Your children may get the app that they want and the immediate problem is solved. But your children are nice, and they don’t want to bother you each time they want something from the App Store, so they remember the password for future purchases …

Passwords and Passcodes are meant to protect you, don’t give them away!

Even if you don’t give away your password, the default setting of your iPhone or iPad allows additional purchases in the next 15 minutes without having to re-enter the password. It is a very convenient feature, as long as you are in control.
However, you can alter the default setting so that a password is required for every purchase. You can do that in the settings app, General tab and then Restrictions.

  • Open the Settings app
  • Open the General tab
  • Select Restrictions
  • Hit the button Enable Restrictions at top of the screen. You will need to enter a four digit passcode. Of course, that passcode should not be something that is easy to guess like 1234, 7890 or 0000. You will be asked to enter the passcode a second time to verify.

Now you are in the Area where you can set restrictions. There are plenty of options to activate.

  • Scroll down to Require Password in the Allowed Content Section.
  • Tap on Require Password
  • Change this setting to Immediately. From now on, a password is needed for every purchase.

Now that we are in the Restrictions Area anyway, there are some other options available. You can even remove the App Store Icon from the Home Screen, so that purchases from the App Store are not possible anymore. And while you are at it, consider disabling In-App Purchases as well (you have no idea how much money can be spent for In-App Purchases in a game, but then, maybe you do have an idea …). Disabling the iTunes Store is maybe a good idea too, and while you are at it, make sure no apps are accidentally uninstalled.

  • While still in the Restrictions Area, locate iTunes Store. Switching this off removes the iTunes Icon from the Home Screen.
  • Locate Installing Apps. Switching this to off removes the App Store Icon from the Home Screen.
  • Locate Deleting Apps. Switching this off prevents Apps from being deleted accidentally.
  • Locate In-App purchases. Switching this to off prevents In-App purchases.

You can revert all these changes by entering the Restrictions Area of the Settings app again. You will have to re-enter the Passcode each time you enter this area.
It is generally not a bad idea to browse through all the settings, you may find other things you want to restrict.
Also, keep in mind that passwords and passcodes are meant to protect you, so don’t give them away easily and make sure that they are not easy to guess!