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Amazon has made it notoriously easy to buy yourself anything from the latest bestseller to a bumper pack of Andrex toilet tissue.

The likes of Prime Membership, Alexa voice recognition and One-Click Payment means the online retailer can offer you almost anything you want with just one click or a tap on the screen.

Unfortunately, that also makes it easy for parents to get hit with huge bills as kids take advantage of the new shopping technology.

That's what happened to 32-year-old parent Sophie Stone after her five-year-old daughter ordered a diamond necklace and £300 of the same Disney toy from an Amazon tablet.

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However, Amazon actually has pretty decent parental controls in place if you know where to look.

While there's no way to specifically stop someone making a purchase on an unlocked tablet or phone that's signed into an Amazon account, you can limit the damage by taking some preventative steps.

The first thing to do is disable one-click payments:

  • Go to Manage Default Address and 1-Click Settings.
  • Click Click here to change your 1-Click default address, then click Edit next to the payment method for the address.
  • Follow the on-screen instructions to save your 1-Click settings.
  • Amazon has also recently rolled out the option for teenagers to have their own login to use on the Amazon app. The difference is that parents can approve all orders or set pre-approved spending limits.

    “As a parent of a teen, I know how they crave independence, but at the same time that has to be balanced with the convenience and trust that parents need. We’ve listened to families and have built a great experience for both teens and parents,” said Michael Carr, vice president, Amazon Households.

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    Amazon Fire HD Kids Edition
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    “For teens who have a parent with a Prime membership, they can also access Prime benefits at no additional cost, including fast, free shipping, Prime Video and gaming benefits with Twitch Prime.”

    When a teen (aged between 13 and 17) finds something they wish to order, they can place the order on the Amazon App, and parents will receive a text or email showing the item, cost, shipping address and payment information.

    The teen can also include a personalised note like, “this is the book I need for class.” The parent can approve the order by text or they can visit their orders page to review it in more detail.

    In-app purchases

    (Image: Amazon)

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    Alongside reducing the amount of mistaken payments made on the main app, Amazon also offers options to restrict in-app purchases. These are occasions when customers can spend real money to unlock achievements or bonuses in regular apps.

    This can be set up on any Amazon device, like the Fire tablet.

    Here's how you do it:

  • Launch the Amazon Appstore on your device.
  • Select Account , and then tap Settings .
  • Tap Parental Controls .
  • Tap Enable Parental Controls , and then enter your Amazon account password. Once you do this, entry of your Amazon account password will be required to complete any in-app purchases on your device.
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    If you don't want your children accessing unsuitable material on Amazon's video streaming platform, you can also put in place some safeguards.

    This works on Amazon devices like the Fire TV Stick or Fire tablets.

    To block playback of Amazon Video titles based on their ratings category:

  • Go to your Amazon Video Settings and Devices
  • Go to the Viewing Restrictions section.
  • Select the ratings categories you want to restrict. Then select the devices you'd like to apply these viewing restrictions to.
  • To turn on Amazon's parental controls, you'll first need to set a 4-number Amazon PIN.

    Amazon Kids Tablet

    (Image: Amazon/PA)

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    If you want to be absolutely certain that your kids won't be misusing your Amazon account, you can get them one of Amazon's specific Fire Tablets for Kids device.

    The gadget is a locked-down tablet that's specially geared towards the whippersnappers, but Amazon says it recognises that parents may still struggle.

    The online retailer says it wants to help parents determine how to manage time limits and educational goals when using the tablet.

    One feature is called Discussion Cards and it allows parents to tap into a specific book, video, educational app or game title to get more detail. That includes a summary and sample questions they can ask their child.

    Reports include information like videos watched, books read, apps or games played, and websites visited, including how many minutes were spent on a particular title and how that usage may have changed over the week.

    According to Amazon, over 10 million children use its Fire for Kids service, which includes age-appropriate content and no access to social networks or potentially-costly in-app purchases.