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Stop kids from buying Android apps and games from Google Play



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You can stop your kids from buying Android apps and games with just a few changes.

You cannot stop your kids from using your smartphone and tablet because you cannot supervise round-the-clock. Sooner or later they are going to grab hold of your gadgets and start using them. That might not be the problem. When it comes to Android tablets and smartphones the bigger problem is that they can buy apps and games with just a single click if you have saved your credit card information.

Just imagine, you kid downloads a free Android game and to proceed further he needs e-coins or credit. He quickly taps on the “Purchase 5000 credits” and there he is, ready to unleash his fury on the remaining part of the game. One thing that he might not have realized is that he has just spent $100 (or even more). Similarly if he wants to download an app that needs to be purchased he just needs to tap the purchase button and there you go.

Small purchases done over a long period of time can cost you lots of money. Similarly, some apps and games can cost you $500 upwards for just a single purchase.

There are two things you can do if you don’t want to install a third-party app to restrict access to your Android phone or tablet.

To carry out seamless purchases of games and apps, Google allows you to save your credit card details in your Google Checkout account so that each time you had to make a purchase, you don’t have to enter your credit card details. So whenever you buy a game or an app from Google Play, your saved information is used. This is quite convenient as long as you are the only one buying stuff. But if your kids and other family members start downloading expensive apps, this can cost you lots of money.

If you don’t regularly buy Android apps and games you can simply remove your credit card information from your Google Checkout account. This way, you will personally have to visit the website on your computer, enter your credit card details and then download whatever you want to download. It means unless your kids have access to your credit card, they won’t be able to buy apps and games from Google Play.

Another, simpler method is, launch Google Play on your Android device and go to Settings.

Google Play settings for setting password
Click to enlarge

As you can see in the above image, the checkbox against “Password” is checked. This means you always have to enter your Google account password in order to buy Android apps and games from Google Play. Unless your kids know this password, they won’t be able to make purchases.