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Dear parents, it's not Apple's In-App Purchase problem, it's yours

Dear parents,

Week after week we see articles about someone's child racking up thousands of dollars' worth of In-App purchases on their parents' iTunes account. You know the stories. They're ones like this: Five-year-old spends $2,500 on in-app purchases. And this: Apple's in-app game charges: how my kids ran up huge bills. And this: Apps that cost parents dearly: Children running up huge bills on supposedly free games on phones and tablets. And this: Son makes £3,700 in app purchases, policeman father reports him for fraud.

And inevitably, Apple takes the blame in the national media and several blogs. But here's the thing: it's not Apple's fault; it's yours.

I wouldn't give a 5-year-old access to my credit card in a candy store and you probably shouldn't either. But that's exactly what you're doing when your give them access to your iTunes password. Children don't have the maturity to postpone immediate gratification for long-term gains. You know that because you were a child once. So if you let them into the massive candy store called iTunes and give them free rein with your purchasing details, you have no one to blame but yourself.

So just don't do it.

And stop blaming Apple. The company has done its fair share of helping out with an option in iOS that allows you to disable in-app purchases on your kid's device. Here's how to do it.

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