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Lock up your iPad (or your children!)

Lock up your iPad (or your children!)

An eight year old girl managed to rack up $1400 on her mother’s iPad using a game called Smurfs Village. Apprently the child did not realise she was spending real money on her Smurfberries. Well, she is eight, I’m a little older, and to be honest I have a hard time believing that you could spend real money on Smurfberries on a game I assumed was for children.

I downloaded the game to have a look and was amazed to find I could spend €79.99 on Smurfberries in one go if I so chose…! No wonder the child was able to rack up such a bill.

There were clear messages that I would be charged for the berries but after reading the Washington Post story on the subject I did a test – I went to the App Store and downloaded a free app. To do so I had to enter my password. Because Apple have a 15 minute period where you don’t have to enter your password again, I was able to open the Smurf game and purchase berries without needing the password.

In the case of the eight year old and the $1400 it seems Apple reimbursed the mother (a one time thing) which was decent of them, but be careful out there – until Apple tighten up this area of the payments system this is likely to happen to more people.

Do you have children and an iPad? What are your thoughts on this story?