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How to stop kids running up huge bills on your smartphone

I was speaking to my wife this week (yes it does happen) when she said “I found this website earlier today that explains how easy it is for kids to run up huge bills on your mobile phone by downloading apps, you might want to take a look”

So I did and what I found was shocking!! Read the full article at your leisure.


Basically a 6 year old kid spent £3200 on playing an iphone game where you purchase food for farm animals in order to feed them. Scary hey!!

It is not only iphones that have this problem though.  If you read on the article states that Blackberry keeps you logged in for 20 minutes after purchasing an app, while Google will take your money without you entering a pin when you have set up your details on Google Play.  Sounds like a childs playground to me!!

So how do you stop kids racking up huge bills.  Hopefully this advise will help:

  • Actually use passwords!!!!!

The amount of people who don’t use passwords is shocking.  If there is no password you are giving your children free roam over you device which is not a good idea.

  • Use passwords your kids can’t guess

Kids are very smart so don’t use passwords that they can guess and don’t let them watch when you enter the password.

  • Ask your mobile provider to cap your bills

You can cap your bills at any amount above your normal bill so you don’t get any nasty surprises.

  • Supervise your children

I am as guilty as the next person when it comes to this.  My 2 year old daughter uses my Playbook most days and a lot of the time she does without me watching her.

  • Restrict App purchases

Apple

Go to settings – General – Restrictions and then decide if you want your password entered every time you make a purchase or not.

Android

Set up a PIN with your Google Play account.  This is not the default on most Android phones.

Blackberry

At the moment there is no way to disable the 20 minute login after app purchases.  Come on Blackberry get this sorted!!

Windows

Windows has a great feature called ‘Kids Corner’ which allows your child their own phone area on the handset.  It comes with restricted access to your device and also certain apps/websites/services etc.  This is not set up by default.

Remember you may think you are pretty smart but believe me kids are smarter so lock down your phone!!

About the Author

P1020114

Hi I’m Chris Wakefield the owner of ComTech IT Support. I provide Windows, Mac and Linux based IT Support to small businesses in Stirling, Alloa and Falkirk.

Follow @Comtech247 on Twitter

 

6 Blackberry Apps for Kids


Ever since I got my Blackberry Playbook my daughter wanted a go.  She is very interested in touching the screen and generally playing about on it.  Bearing in mind that she is only 19 months old I had a look at what Blackberry offer in terms of apps for kids.  This is what I have found so far.

1. Kids Doodle

This is one of her favourite apps.  Everytime you touch the screen you make a line with different colours.

2. Animal Sounds

You move the screen around and press on the animals to get their sound.  Simple but really good!!

3. Drums Lite

Ever wanted to play the drums but not have the space.  You can now with Drums Lite.  You get a full drum kit so just go ahead and hit it.  My daughter really loves this!!!  You can get the paid version but it is really not worth it in my opinion when the lite does everything I need.

4. Piano

Another one of her favourites.  You get a full piano which you can hit and make as much noise as you want (see a pattern yet?).  What else does a 19 month old need?

5. Xylophone

Exactly the same as the Piano but this time with a Xylophone instead.  Again though a really good app.

6. Scratchpad

This app is not actually designed for kids.  It is designed for the business productivity market however it allows kids to draw images (or whatever they fancy).  It is basically Kids Doodle without the fancy colours.

This list is not exhaustive by any means but I hope it gives you some insight into what is available on the Blackberry platform for kids.

About the Author

Hi I am Chris the owner of ComTech. I provide IT Support, Laptop repairs and Computer repairs to both personal and business clients in and around Stirling. For a list of what I can offer you why not visit my website www.comtech247.net where you will find my blog, testimonials, services and much more.  Start supporting a local business today so I can start supporting you.

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