How to Use Amazon Parental Controls to Protect Your Account

Prevent unauthorized purchases from your Amazon or Amazon Prime account

Amazon is a massive online retailer, but it also provides access to video content through Amazon Prime. As a parent, you may be interested to find out that Amazon provides a few methods you can use to prevent your child from making unwanted purchases, Amazon's parental controls can also be used to prevent your kid from watching inappropriate content through Prime Video.

What Can Amazon Parental Controls Accomplish?

The two main things Amazon parental controls can accomplish are preventing your kids from making unwanted purchases, and preventing your kids from watching shows and movies you don't approve of. Most of this can be accomplished through the Amazon website, and subsequently apply to all devices, but some devices have parental controls that need to be set locally.

Other devices, like the Amazon Echo and Fire tablets, provide you with even more options over how, when, and what media your kids consume through Amazon Freetime.

Use Amazon Parental Controls to Prevent Unwanted Purchases

Amazon makes it easy to buy just about anything you want and have it delivered to your door in two days or less. In some cases, they even make it too easy. Shared devices, like tablets and computers, and 1-click purchasing can allow your kid to order anything Amazon sells, either on purpose or accident, before you even know what's happening.

Amazon does have some useful parental control options to prevent unauthorized purchases, but you have to activate them to take advantage.

How to Turn off 1-Click Purchasing

The most important thing you can do to prevent your kids from placing unauthorized orders is to turn off 1-click purchasing.

This useful feature allows you to place orders with a single click, using a pre-set payment method and shipping address, and that level of convenience makes it all to easy to fat finger an accidental purchase. It also makes it possible for your kid to order that toy they've been coveting if you forget to log out of Amazon before they use the computer.

To turn off 1-Click Purchasing, navigate to amazon.com/cpe/manageoneclick, log in if prompted, then select Turn off everywhere.

A screenshot of Amazon 1-click settings.

Create a Separate Login for Your Teen

If you have a teen, and you want to provide them with a little more autonomy, Amazon allows parents to set up accounts for their teenagers. If you set up an account like this, and it's tied to your Amazon account, your teen will be able to shop for items on Amazon, place them in a shopping cart, then send a message asking if you will approve the purchase. This is a great way to avoid unwanted purchases while giving your teen some extra freedom.

This program is available for teens aged 13 to 17.

  1. Navigate to amazon.com/cr/parentLanding, and sign in if prompted.

  2. Select sign up now.

    A screenshot of the Amazon teen program.
  3. Enter your teen's info, then select Continue.

    A screenshot of setting up an Amazon teen account.
  4. Select your purchase authorization preferences, then select Continue.

    A screenshot of Amazon
  5. Sign in again, if prompted, and choose which credit card and billing address to use for teen purchases.

  6. Select your approved shipping addresses, then select Continue.

  7. Choose how to receive purchase requests, then select Confirm.

  8. Enter your teen's email or phone number, then select Continue.

  9. Your teen will receive an invite to set up an account that's tied to yours.

  10. When your teen attempts to make purchases, you will receive a request or notification based on your preferences.

Disable In-App Purchasing

In-app purchases are real money purchases that can be made from within phone and tablet apps. These purchases often make games easier or unlock new content, so they can be very tempting for kids.

To avoid this sort of problem, Amazon allows you to disable in-app purchasing account wide for any app that you download through the Amazon Appstore.

You can only disable in-app purchases using a device that supports the Amazon Appstore like a Kindle Fire.

  1. Open the Amazon Appstore on your device.

  2. Tap Account.

  3. Tap Settings.

    Screenshots showing where to find the Settings tab on the Amazon App store.
  4. Tap Parental Controls.

  5. Tap the Enable Parental Controls toggle, then enter your password when requested.

    Screenshots showing how to turn Amazon Parental Controls on in the Amazon App Store.
  6. Subsequent in-app purchases will require your password to complete.

Set up Parental Controls for Prime Video

Once you've set up parental controls to prevent your kids from making unwanted purchases, it's time to think about all of the free video content that's included with your Amazon Prime membership. A lot of this content is family friendly, but it's ultimately up to you to decide what type of content your child has access to.

Amazon provides some basic parental controls for Prime Video that allow you to block access to certain types of content. If you choose to block some content, you'll still be able to access it yourself with the help of a personal identification number (PIN) that you'll set up alongside the parental controls.

Fire TV devices, Fire Tablets, Fire Phones, and the Xbox 360 app all have their own Amazon Prime Video parental controls. For those devices, set up content restrictions on the device itself.

Here's how to set up parental controls for Prime Video:

  1. Navigate to primevideo.com/settings/ and log in if prompted.

  2. Select Parental Controls.

    A screenshot of Prime Video account settings.
  3. Select Change in the upper right part of the page.

    A screenshot of Prime Video parental controls.
  4. Enter a Prime Video PIN, then select Save.

    A screenshot of entering a Prime Video PIN.
  5. Choose the rating level of your choice.

    A screenshot of Prime Video restriction levels.

    For example, choosing G will require your PIN to watch any content that isn't G rated.

  6. Select the devices to which this restriction will apply, then select Save.

    A screenshot of Prime Video restriction applications.