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Stop the temptation: Protect your Android phone against unwanted in-app purchases

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The temptation to spend a few dollars on an in-app purchase is always there, particularly if you’re an avid smartphone gamer, but that small amount can rapidly turn into a large amount of money if you’re not careful with your account. If your Android phone or tablet is also used by someone else, then it may be wise to secure it from accidental (or purposeful) purchases.

Luckily, it’s easy to do, and we’ve put together a quick guide to help manage those dreaded in-app purchases. After all, little Johnny may want those extra lives in Candy Crush Saga, but your bank manager may not agree if it’s the fiftieth charge that day.

Related: How to turn off in-app purchases in iOS

Here’s how to activate Google’s account protection measures:

  • Open the Google Play Store on your device.
  • Select the Menu button in the top right corner on your phone. It looks like three horizontal lines stacked on top of each other.
  • Scroll down to Settings.
  • Select the Require Authentication For Purchases option.
  • Ensure the first option, labelled all purchases, is selected.

Even without this option activated, Google Play will always prompt for your account password in apps with a 12-or-under age rating. This way, it’ll do the same for each and every in-app purchase.

If you have a phone with a fingerprint scanner, this can also be used for authentication:

  • Open the Google Play Store on your device.
  • Select the Menu button in the top right corner on your phone.
  • Scroll down to Settings.
  • Find the Fingerprint Authentication option, and check the box.
  • You’ll be prompted for the password used when you first entered your fingerprint on the device.

That’s it. You’ve learned how to block in-app purchases for Android. Both your Google and bank accounts are safe from ridiculous bills generated by over spending money on items that don’t even exist in the real world.