5 Replies Latest reply: Dec 27, 2012 8:43 AM by HACKINT0SH
Lawrence Lessig Level 1 Level 1 (25 points)

I recently was shocked to discover my kid had made over $200 in in-app purchases in the game Trade Natons. To my great relief, Apple almost instanty reversed the charges, but I still don't see how I to restrict in app purchases.


Unlike with the iPhone/iPad/iPod versions of this game, there is no need to enter the password for the account when making an in-app purchase.


And neither is there a place in the parental controls of either iTunes or System>ParentalControls to control in app purchases.


And while I've read people who say something about passwords to download an app remaining active for up to 15 minutes or more, (1) these purchases were literally DAYS after I had entered any password (I've been travelling) and (2) why would anyone infer from entering a password to download a "free app" that one is also authorizing the purchase of $99 of in-app credits?

iMac, iOS 6.0.2
  • HACKINT0SH Level 5 Level 5 (5,755 points)

    I think you're confused here. The in-apps need to be disabled from Restrictions. This is actually a passcode issue, not a password issue. When blocked, a child will get a pop-up that says in-apps disabled. And they can't change that unlss they know your passcode.

  • Lawrence Lessig Level 1 Level 1 (25 points)

    Well, if I wasn't confused, I am now.


    What do you mean "from Restrictions"? The Apps options within Parental Controls permit you to limit an App. There's no option to limit "in-apps" or no place that I can see it possible for "in-apps ... to be disabled".  So you can block a kid from playing a game, but you can't block the game from asking the kid to spend $99 on in game toys — what TradeNations does — and nothing that requires an approval from an adult before that $99 is spent.


    This is the control panel:


    Screen Shot 2012-12-23 at 6.21.26 AM.png

    The "Allow App Store Apps" control is a simple age restriction. And the Allowed Apps is just the apps you permit the kid to use.


    Please tell me there's another control panel I'm missing?

  • HACKINT0SH Level 5 Level 5 (5,755 points)

    You are looking in the wrong OS


    The in-apps were most likely done on your iOS device(s).


    iTunes Store: About In-App Purchases


    iOS: Understanding Restrictions


  • Lawrence Lessig Level 1 Level 1 (25 points)

    No that's my point.


    I am NOT talking about a "device." I'm talking about an iMac. The game, Trade Nations, which you can download for free from the App Store, enables in-app purchases — ranging from 99 cents to $99 . If you select any of those — including the $99 — you're asked to confirm your purchase, but there's no password required. And there is no place in SYSTEM PREFERENCES>Parental Controls (again, not SETTINGS>RESTRICTIONS) to block in-App purchases — or so far as I can see. Likewise in iTunes — it too doesn't allow you to block in-app purchases.


    Or again, am I just "confused here"?

  • HACKINT0SH Level 5 Level 5 (5,755 points)

    Thanks for the clarification. This app is one of those truely universal deals. Available not just for all iOS devices, but it seems they ported it to Mac OS X.


    You will not see a way to disable In-Apps on parental controls in Mac OS X.


    However, they can not make the purchases without logging into the App Store. For this reason, make sure you are NOT logged into the App Store. If you are, you will most likely still be logged in after a reboot by default. Double check this by clicking on the STORE tab.


    Assuming your kids don't know your password, they will be stumped when prompted to log into the MAS account when trying to carry out an In-App on your Mac.