More times than I can count I’ve read about families who have had charges racked up though in-app purchases. There’s even a lawsuit in the UK against Apple. Websites like Moms with Apps are encouraging developers to label their apps but for now, it’s up to you to secure your app with security settings.
Let’s look at some simple step so secure your iPad using the Restrictions. They are found under the Settings. Tap the icon on the iDevice. On the left hand side choose ‘General’ and then on the right hand side three quarters of hte way down choose ‘Restrictions.’
Tap ‘Enable Restrictions’. You will be prompted to enter a four digit passcode that you will need to disable the restrictions later. You can now choose to to prevent access to Safari (the internet), YouTube, iTunes, and Ping as well as prevent the user from installing and deleting apps. Do this by tapping the slider to ‘off’.
It might also be useful to prevent changes to the location and account settings. Tap these to open a sub-menu. For location services turn the items on/off individually. Do not turn off all Location Services, otherwise the app Find My iPad will not function. Once you have them all set the way you need, chose ‘Don’t Allow Changes’ from the top. This means that the user will need to go into this restriction menu to make changes, which requires the password.
Under Allowed Content you can choose which ratings you want the user to be able to access in music, movies, TV shows and apps.
The most important one is to turn off In-App purchases – which will prevent the problems associated with unknown charges to your account. Just like the iTunes and app store when you want to install and app or download a song, the user needs the iTunes password. It’s the same for In-App Purchases, but it doesn’t hurt to be careful!
Lastly, Game Center which can be accessed through a variety of games can also be protected to prevent multiplayer games and adding friends.
Here is how I typically set it up. I usually only turn Safari and You tube ‘off’ if the user is trying to reduce 3G access or if they are program reinforcers.