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Prevent Unauthorized Purchases in Online Gaming Platforms

Updated: Sep 25


We have now helped several parents who have noticed charges to their credit cards that were not made by them, but on further investigation were found to have been made by their child via online purchases, especially when it comes to online gaming. In this blog post, we are going to share with parents how to minimize these unauthorized online purchases in online gaming.

Apple iOS:

If your child plays games on an iPhone or an iPad, you can turn off “in-app” purchases directly in your Apple Store.

  • Click on your “settings” button

  • Scroll down and click on the “screen time” button and turn screen time on

  • Click “continue”, then choose “this is me device” or “this is my child’s device”

  • Click “content & privacy restrictions”

  • Click “in-app purchases” and set to “don’t allow”

As an option, instead of switching in-app purchases to “don’t allow, you can instead pick “always require”, under the require password subheading. So instead of disabling in-app purchases completely, this option simply requires you to input a passcode in order to make any in-app purchases.

Here’s a great video tutorial

https://youtu.be/AUuXjv8HcyI

NOTE: If you have an Apple “Family Sharing Plan” and your child is 13yrs or older, then you can also set things up so that your child can request to make a purchase:

https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT201089

Microsoft Store:

  • Open Microsoft Store, and select the “more” in the upper right corner of the screen and them choose “settings”

  • Under “purchase” sign-in to your account and turn off “I want to buy without a password for faster check-out”

  • Repeat this process for each device you own or share

https://support.microsoft.com/en-ca/help/4028531/microsoft-store-prevent-unauthorized-purchases

PlayStation 4

When it comes to PlayStations, it is important that you create a separate account for your child. Here’s a great link from Sony to help guide you through this process:

https://www.playstation.com/en-gb/get-help/help-library/my-account/parental-controls/ps4-parental-controls/

Here’s a great video tutorial

https://youtu.be/WmdO7COZOqo


Xbox One

  • Press the “Xbox button” on the controller to open the guide

  • Select “systems”

  • Select “settings”

  • Select “account”

  • Select “sign-in”

  • Select “security & passkey”

  • Select “change my sign-in and security preferences”

  • Scroll right and select “customize”

  • Scroll right and select “ask for my passkey to make purchases”

  • Select “passkey required”

Here’s a great link from Xbox:

https://support.xbox.com/help/family-online-safety/child-accounts/prevent-unauthorized-purchases

Here’s a great video tutorial:

https://youtu.be/uDXSmZ1Ay_Q

Steam:

  • Go to “settings”

  • Click on “family”

  • Click on “manage family view”

  • Leave the “Steam Store checkbox unchecked”

Here’s a great link from StackExchange:

https://gaming.stackexchange.com/questions/117992/prevent-kids-from-accidentally-making-purchases-in-steam

Conclusion:

We love gaming when used in a balanced way, but sometimes the lure of in-app purchases and loot boxes can be very enticing to youth. Following the above-noted information, as well as not making your credit card(s) easily accessible, will go a long way in preventing unauthorized online credit card purchases by your kids.


Most devices have some form of local parental control built-in. You just need to know where to look. Our friends at Bark have made this interactive guide that will walk you through how to activate the parent controls in most devices and apps

https://bark-o-matic.com/



The White Hatter Team

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