Skip to navigation

PCPro-Computing in the Real World Printed from

Register to receive our regular email newsletter at

The newsletter contains links to our latest PC news, product reviews, features and how-to guides, plus special offers and competitions.

// Home / Blogs

Posted on January 4th, 2013 by Stewart Mitchell

How adult books ended up on my young son’s Kindle

Kindle Fire, Landscape

At £99, the Kindle Fire looked the perfect gift for a seven year old, with plenty of content aimed at children, some very playable games and a fairly rigorous set of child-friendly filters built into the device. In fact, Amazon was even touting the device’s child friendliness in the run-up to Christmas, with an offer that included Disney and Nickelodeon content.

It was something of a surprise, then, to find that as said youngster explored the device with child protection turned on, a trio of adult books turned up in the carousel display on the Kindle’s homepage. To be fair, this wasn’t something pushed by Amazon, but the result of the child’s account being linked with my Amazon account.

During research for a feature on online porn and child protection (Yeah, I know, lame excuse, but I’m sticking with it) three erotica titles of the 50 Shades ilk had found their way into the main account controlling the Kindle in question.

And there they were, staring out from the child’s glossy touchscreen in all their stocking-clad glory. Online research found a remedy for the carousel issue – touch the title and “remove from carousel” – but that was by no means the last time the novellas appeared on the device.

Of course, everything bought from your Amazon account remains in the cloud. Back in the main Books menu, the three titles remained available under “Cloud” content, and could easily be downloaded despite general parental controls being activated on the actual device.

You can block all books in the parental control setting,  but who’s going to block books from a child’s Kindle, seeing as that’s the main draw? It’s far from ideal, and something that might worry any of the millions that have bought the 50 Shades series for their Kindles and probably didn’t realise the purchases are replicated across devices.

In an increasingly urgent assault on the titles, the Your Kindle Library control page proved more useful, enabling me to delete the content from the account, although such action comes with the warning that this is a permanent deletion and that deleting the books will mean they have to be repurchased if you want to read it again. If you want adult content on your Kindle, you can’t have the same account linked to your child’s device, it would appear.

Having deleted two of the items, a check showed the titles were still visible on the device – both in the Books |Cloud section as well as back on the carousel, due to the titles having been deemed active. Only once fully deleted and with the device rebooted did the dubious reading material finally disappear, although one stubborn item lingered at the top of the lists for an hour after removal.

As parental control faux pas go, this is nowhere near the level we revealed in TalkTalk’s network filtering system, but it does provide a warning for parents sharing any of their digital space with other family members. It is obviously common practice for parents to link children’s accounts to their own, given that they don’t have credit cards. Just be wary of what you’re giving the youngsters access to.

Tags: ,

Posted in: Hardware


Follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.

You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

7 Responses to “ How adult books ended up on my young son’s Kindle ”

  1. David Wright Says:
    January 4th, 2013 at 3:29 pm

    What was Amazon’s response, when asked why such material got through the parental controls?

    Are they working on a remedy?

  2. Sarcen Says:
    January 4th, 2013 at 11:27 pm

    That is the one downside of the Kindles, you have to have an active Amazon account (which has a payment method active – and one-click purchasing enabled) and as stated this tends to be the parents Amazon account. The parental controls while good should allow greater granularity.

  3. Simon Mitchell Says:
    January 5th, 2013 at 2:49 am

    “but the result of the child’s account being linked with my Amazon account”

    “During research for a feature on online porn and child protection”

    Yes, yes, I can certainly see this scenario being repeated up and down the country.

    Won’t Amazon please think of the children?

  4. James Bassett Says:
    January 5th, 2013 at 9:08 am

    The same thing happens with Google Play. I’ve found it is safer and easier to manage if you just set them up with their own account. It also stops them making in-game purchases on your credit card! Set up a brand new account, make sure you turn on content filtering (with Android this applies to youtube as well as the Play store) and DON’T assign a payment method to the account. That seems to have worked pretty well for us so far. The only issue I’ve discovered is that the content filtering in YouTube isn’t great. It relies on others flagging the content. However, content can’t be flagged from any of the apps (android, Wii etc) even though the flag button is present. You just get a message telling you to go to the website and flag it from there.

  5. sharon swallow Says:
    August 16th, 2013 at 11:50 pm

    I solved this by setting up a gmail address and registering my son’s Kindle Fire to it.Only I know the password etc and I set it to be totally invisible.I then set up an Amazon account with the gmail address. The password on the Amazon account known only to me and my husband.
    THEN should you want to credit Gift Cards/Certs to the child’s account- Go to 1click payments on the newly created Amazon account.
    Add your debit card details.
    Make an initial purchase.
    Delete your card details.
    The purchase will have been debited from the gift card and not your debit card. Once your card details are removed Gift cards can be added to your child’s account.
    This 1click system is needed even for free games. The same applies, add the card, download and delete the card.

  6. Dawn Says:
    November 7th, 2013 at 2:48 am

    if I want my daughter to have her own amazon account, do I have to pay for an additional Prime account for her to get books etc cheaper. There seems to not be a way to share Prime accounts for books, only for shipping physical books.

  7. Cheri Says:
    December 17th, 2013 at 5:29 am

    Does your Kindle have ads? Is this where the unwanted literature is coming from? We just purchased a Kindle Fire for our 10 year old son. I want a very streamlined setup so it is easy for me to see what he has on it. Multiple accounts seem cumbersome. We paid extra to eliminate the ads.


Leave a Reply

Spam Protection by WP-SpamFree

* required fields

* Will not be published






Your email:

Your password:

remember me


Hitwise Top 10 Website 2010