How to Disable App Downloads on Android Phones to Avoid Accidental Purchases by Kids

Avoid unwanted purchasesIf you’re a parent then you know your Android phone is not always your own. Kids are drawn to them like moths to a flame. With such a wide variety of kid-friendly apps out there, we put our Android phones in their hands more and more often.

It’s your job to keep your child, your Android and your wallet safe. The most effective way to do this is to disable accidental app purchases in the Android Market. With a few simple precautions you can increase Android phone security for kids and avoid unwanted app purchases.

Block Accidental Purchases

Avoid accidental purchasesBy adding a PIN to your Android account, you will block accidental app purchases from your Android phone. Once this feature is enabled, any application that costs money will require a PIN before it can be downloaded.

Enabling an Android Market PIN is easy and goes into effect immediately. Follow these few simple steps to protect Android Market purchases with a PIN code.

  •  – Open the Android Market.
  •  – Press the menu button.
    – Select Settings.
    – Tap Set or change PIN.
    – Create a four-digit custom PIN code. Enter this again to confirm when prompted.
    – Tap Use PIN for purchases.

Enabling an Android Market PIN will not block the download of free applications. You may want to enable a content filter for additional control. Content filter settings are located under the same settings subheading in the Android Market.

Additional Safeguards

Even with a custom PIN code, it is possible for children to run up large bills by purchasing in-game credits. Many free games feature some sort of game currency. One of the only ways to completely avoid accidental in-app purchases is to remove your credit card information from Google Checkout or you can utilize a security app.

One of the easiest Android security apps to install and use is Protector. Protector allows you to password protect any eight apps on your Android phone, including the Android Market. Children will not be able to see into the app without the Protector pass code, and your Android security will be in check.

Block Downloads From Unknown Sources

Block downloadsThe Android Market is not the only source of application downloads. To avoid unwanted purchases from the Amazon App Store or a website, turn off the option to allow installations from non-Market sources.

  • Navigate to your Android phone’s home screen.
  • Tap the Android menu button.
  • Choose settings.
  • Open the applications menu.
  • Make sure there is no green check mark next to the Unknown sources item.
  • If there is a green check mark next to Unknown sources, briefly touch the check mark to disable the setting.

With a little preparation your Android phone can be a safe place for children, and for your wallet. Consider utilizing a security application for the ultimate control, even when your phone is in the paws of a little critter.  Disable app downloads and take control of your Android phone, avoiding accidental purchases by kids for good.