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Survey: Children's in-app purchases without parents' knowledge averages £30.9M a month in UK

In-app purchases on smartphones and tablets made by children without their parents' knowledge could total as much as £30.9 million a month in the U.K., reports the Guardian.

According to the results of a recent survey by Microsoft, 28 percent of parents in a surveyed group of 2,000 reported their children making purchases without permission. Of this group of parents, 83 percent reported suffering "bill shock" and seeing an increase in their monthly bills, citing an average of £34.18 in additional fees as a result of these purchases.

Microsoft's calculations put the average monthly total of unauthorized in-app purchases by children at just below £30.9 million, according to the Guardian.

The same survey shows that 17 percent of parents share their smartphone or tablet passwords with their children, and 23.5 do not use passwords. The group of parents also reported their children sneakily updating their Facebook status (27 percent) and posting from their Twitter accounts (20 percent) from their mobile devices, with 18 percent saying their children have deleted content off the hardware.

77 percent of survey-takers said technology companies should be doing more to help parents manage their children's activities, such as releasing tools like Microsoft's Kid's Corner and Family Safety Tool for Windows 8 devices. These programs provide more parental control options and are aimed at helping families plan what their children have access to.

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