A viral video on TikTok shows how a mother got into trouble after her child spent over $800 on Roblox, but that could have been prevented with Screen Time.
Roblox is a very popular game that uses an in-game currency called Robux. This is an enticing, fun game designed for kids who are willing to spend real money on cosmetics.
A TikTok influencer named Linzi Taylor shared a video in which she described her situation after her 10-year-old son spent over $800 on eleven Roblox purchases. At the time of this article’s publication, the video has received 3.8 million views.
Usually in these stories, the child uses some form of deception to get around the child block or lack of parental supervision. However, this time, all the child needs is a device passcode.
The account did not have Screen Time protection, so the only protection for the device was the device password and Apple ID password. The child did not know their Apple ID password, but had a password to access the device.
It’s not clear how he learned this, but it’s the same method thieves use to steal an iPhone and reset their Apple ID password.
Taylor’s son was able to move to Roblox and initiate an in-app purchase. The device was set to require a passcode each time a purchase was initiated, so biometrics such as Touch ID didn’t work.
All the child had to do was select “Forgot password” and then enter their iPhone passcode. The password was reset to the one he chose, after which he could make purchases.
By the time Taylor noticed the accumulation of transactions, it was already too late. Her son spent about $800 from her PayPal account, which was linked for purchases.
Something went wrong
All the tech-savvy people reading this article already know what happened – there was no Screen Time password. It was a simple mistake as Taylor thought she had enough protection with just her Apple ID password.
contacted the family and discussed the situation to make sure screen time was off. Taylor admitted she’d never heard of the feature and would love to let her have more control over her child’s devices.
Screen Time is a versatile parental control tool
This is a common occurrence as Apple does not actively advertise this feature. And she was right in thinking the password would suffice.
Screen Time is a tool that can be found in the Settings app and is essential for parents. App time limits can be set, purchases can be hidden behind a permissions structure, and in the case of this story, Apple ID passwords can be locked with a Screen Time passcode.
If Screen Time was set and the setting was turned on, the Apple ID password could not be reset using the device passcode alone.
We encourage all parents to take a few minutes to set up Screen Time for their children. It’s not secure, as sly kids have found ways to get their parents’ password to bypass it, but it’s an extra layer of protection.
Taylor has approached Apple for a refund, and it is pending.