You may try to keep your child’s phone or tablet apps secure by not letting them download new apps without your approval. However there is another feature that can sneak up on you and drive up your phone bill -- in app purchases.

Apps may be free, then purchases made from within an application (often called in app purchases) allow you to add additional content or subscription features to an application. In gaming, often you can add to your in-game currency. These purchase amounts may seem small (just under a dollar), but can quickly add up.

Other apps have created subscription-based environments. One I saw recently was a DJ app - for mixing music that had a weekly $8.99 subscription fee! Because you have to tie a method of payment to your phone’s operating system, in app purchasing can be literally one click. For children, they may not see this total increasing.

A useful parent feature is blocking any in app purchasing on a device. Within your settings (where I’ve recommended you set up restrictions for your child’s device) you can turn off the ability to make any in app purchases.

With this off, it may eliminate the excitement of a game or app but there are plenty of others to choose from. Don’t let this sneaky setting hit you in your wallet.

Links for you: Understanding In App Purchasing

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