How to Avoid Unauthorized Purchases on Android and Play Store

Last week a piece of news came to our media that detailed how a piece of software with malicious code inside was capable of making unauthorized purchases with the mobile phone without even the user being aware of it. Is there a way to protect yourself before buying without our permission?

Buying from the Android store is normal. It is totally advisable to turn off those apps or games that have cost the developer a job and solve our lives, but that does not mean that we leave the door open to make payments left and right in certain circumstances. If someone else uses your Android phone a lot, you may want to protect it from accidental (or intentional) purchases that could seriously affect your wallet.

Fortunately, it is easy to protect yourself against this on your mobile as Google offers different solutions to protect your money.

“General” security measures

The first and most important thing is to keep the smartphone locked so that nothing and no one can access it, much less pay with the mobile . It is essential to configure a pattern or password to unlock the smartphone or configure our fingerprint to prevent access to the content of the mobile, as well as our payment information and the different stores that we can have on the mobile.

We do not recommend using face recognition to unlock the phone as it has already been shown that sometimes taking it out is as simple as putting a photo of us in front of the smartphone.

Password per app

Almost all the layers of personalization that work on Android have tools to establish a password in applications independently. In this way, if you want to avoid unauthorized purchases on your mobile, it is appropriate that all the apps that allow you to pay for objects or services are protected “under lock and key”. You can do it on Amazon, Instagram, Play Store, or any other similar app that you have installed in the phone’s memory.

Prevent purchases from the Play Store

Play Store is the main place where someone can buy items without you knowing. Accidental keystrokes in a game, your child downloading applications or non-canceled subscriptions are usually the main reasons for these headaches.

With password

Google has a couple of ways to ensure that our device is protected against unwanted purchases, but the most common on all Android devices is to use a password.

  • Open the Google Play Store app on your mobile
  • Click on your profile icon in the upper right side of the search bar
  • Select the Settings option that appears in the drop-down menu.
  • Select Authentication for purchases .
  • Choose one of the three options.
  • Enter your Google account password to confirm the change.

Even if you don’t enable this option, Google Play will always ask for your account password in apps with an age rating of 12 years or less. In this way, you will do the same with each purchase within the store.

With fingerprint

Another way to avoid unwanted in-app purchases is to use biometric authentication, something quite useful considering that today almost all of our mobiles have a fingerprint sensor. Instead of manually entering a password every time something is bought, you can use one of the fingerprints that you have stored in the smartphorne, from the Security section within the phone’s settings.

  • Again go to the Google Play Store.
  • Access the settings menu from your profile photo
  • Select Biometric Authentication.
  • Enter your Google account password to confirm the change.

Passwords are often not that strong and can fall into the wrong hands. With a fingerprint scanner, even if someone has your password, they will have to put their finger on the fingerprint sensor and if it does not match any of the ones stored on the device, the purchase will not be made.

If possible, don’t use a card

A recommendation that all estates give when making online purchases is to use prepaid freight. In this way, if it is at zero, no matter how much someone tries to make purchases without your permission with the mobile, the bank will prevent it.

We go further and recommend that if you are used to buying content in the Play Store, you acquire a prepaid card from the Android store to keep all your banking products safe.

The essential filter for children

Children are usually the “culprits” that you have come to this article. Perhaps you have children with access to your Android device and you want to make sure they are not depleting the credit card associated with the main account. To avoid this, follow these steps:

  • Again go to the Google Play Store.
  • Access the settings menu from your profile photo
  • Select Settings
  • Enter the Family section
  • Create a family collection
  • Select Manage family members
  • Select the family member you want to restrict
  • Choose Purchase approvals.
  • Select one of the four options from the list that suits you best

Are refunds made in the Play Store?

If you have not been able to avoid the purchase with your mobile, you are still in time to request a return in the Play Store. This is indicated by its own support page.

In addition, as long as less than 48 hours have passed since the purchase, either yours or someone else, you can request a refund through Google Play, be it an app, music, movies, books or other content.

Beware of malware

Malware may also be able to make purchases without your permission. In this case, the danger is that you will not detect them until they are loaded into your payment method and, in this case, we recommend you take a look at the upper lines to report that charge for a purchase that you have not made.

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