Kids pile up credit card debt with iPhones

Kids pile up credit card debt with iPhones Many kids want to receive a high-tech gadget when they open their presents during the holidays, and if they are lucky enough to receive such a gift, they need to be careful. Apple's App Store is positively brimming with kid-friendly games and other applications that will allow children to be theenvy of all their friends.

But if a parent makes the mistake of giving the child their own App Store username and password tied to the adult's accounts, it can result in unexpected credit card debt, according to a report from Many programs in the App Store cost money, usually not much more than a dollar or two, but enough that, if the child goes on a downloading spree, they can rack up added credit card debt.

In addition, some applications allow consumers to purchase in-game products such as exclusive items and other upgrades, leading to even more credit card debt, the report said. These so-called "in-app purchases" were first introduced by Apple last year and allows developers to charge consumers' iTunes accounts for transactions made in the games themselves.

However, Apple also introduced a requirement that consumers enter their login data after 15 minutes of inactivity in its various stores, the report said. However, some studies have found that this time period isn't necessarily set in stone, so even if a consumer logs into their own account to buy apps for their child then waits the appropriate amount of time, the kid might still be able to rack up credit card debt buying items in games.

However, there is a way to prevent any of these instances from taking place, the report said. An Apple spokeswoman told the site that users can restrict or even disable in-app purchases by using the options in the device's Settings app, under the "General" and "Restrictions" button.

Consumers have expressed a greater interest in avoiding credit card debt this holiday season. They can also do this with Apple products by tying their debit card to an App Store or iTunes account, rather than a credit card.