Kid proof iTunes: Apple requires password for purchases

Apple makes it harder for your kids to waste hundreds of dollars on Smurfberries.

Saddled with mounting complaints from parents that their kids were running up big iTunes bills Apple changed its app purchasing policies. Now parents, or kids using their parent's iPhone or iPad, will have to re-enter an iTunes password when making a purchase within an existing iOS application (called an in-app purchase).

Techworld: How to get free iTunes music

The new policy was delivered to Apple devices this week as part of a iOS 4.3 update that added several tweaks to the iOS platform. Previously, purchasing something on the App Store (and entering your iTunes account password) opened a 15-minute window, during which you (or your child) were able to make additional in-app purchases without re-entering your password.

According to The Washington Post , parents complained that, in this 15-minute period, their children had managed to rack up hundreds of dollars worth of in-app purchases on games such as Smurfs' Village and Tap Zoo. While both of these applications are free to download, their in-app purchases cost as much as $100.

Parents were alerted to this fact a while ago, when Capcom actually ended up putting a warning on its Smurfs' Village game -- a warning that said Smurfberries cost real money. Unfortunately, children who make impulse purchases on iPhones probably aren't all that good at comprehending what "real money" is, so Apple has stepped in.

"With iOS 4.3, in addition to a password being required to purchase an app on the App Store, a reentry of your password is now required when making an in-app purchase," Apple spokeswoman Trudy Miller told The Washington Post on Thursday.

Now users are required to enter their password twice, once to download the app and once to make a purchase. Hopefully this will make people stop and think about what they're doing (or, in children's cases, prevent them from making changes all together...you don't give your kids your iTunes password, do you?) before they start making purchases left and right.

So upgrade to iOS 4.3 today! If you can, that is -- Gizmodo notes that iOS 4.3 is only available for the last two generations of the iPhone, the iPad, and the iPod Touch, so some of you will have to control your kids' purchases the old-fashioned way.

Follow Sarah on Twitter (@geeklil) or on Facebook

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags Appleapple ipadconsumer electronicsapple iphoneappsPhonesiTunes

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Sarah Jacobsson Purewal

PC World (US online)
Show Comments

Cool Tech

SanDisk MicroSDXC™ for Nintendo® Switch™

Learn more >

Breitling Superocean Heritage Chronographe 44

Learn more >

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Panasonic 4K UHD Blu-Ray Player and Full HD Recorder with Netflix - UBT1GL-K

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Razer DeathAdder Expert Ergonomic Gaming Mouse

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

David Coyle

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?