The lack of external keyboard and iOS Remote app support on the new Apple TV can seemingly make it burdensome to protect your iTunes Store account from unauthorized purchases — it’s easy to assume that you have to choose between either “swiping-and-tapping” in your entire iTunes Store password with every purchase or allowing the Apple TV to remember your password and let anybody with the remote in hand buy whatever they’d like. Fortunately, there’s a third option that may be a bit easier, at least when it comes to purchasing media content and apps.
The trick is to enable Parental Controls under Settings, General, Restrictions and set a four-digit passcode — a much easier sequence to key in than an alphanumeric iTunes Store password. Once you’ve done set the passcode, choose “Restrict” under the “Purchase and Rental” section and the Apple TV will prompt you for the four-digit code whenever you attempt to purchase or rent a movie, TV show, or app.
While this is great for purchasing media content and apps, it sadly doesn’t work for in-app purchases. While we’re not quite sure why Apple would choose to handle these differently. In this case, your only choice is “Block,” which will turn off the ability to make in-app purchases entirely — if you want to lock these down you’ll need to return to the Parental Restrictions and toggle this option back to “Allow” whenever you wish to make an in-app purchase. Still, with the Apple-enforced complexity of iTunes Store passwords, that’s likely still a lot easier than having to enter your password with the Siri Remote each time you want to make a purchase.