A summer job is the traditional way for kids to earn money to contribute to the household and buy the luxuries they want. It teaches them responsibility, the importance of supporting the family, and the value of saving money. It helps them take those first few steps toward real financial independence.
In this context, online jobs can seem to kids like an ideal option. Of they’re under pressure to find work or are anxious to earn some money, but don’t want to leave the computer, why not make money that way? Of course, most adults realize that a lot of advertised online jobs sound too good to be true, but kids don’t have the experience to tell the difference.
Recommended online precautions for parents often concentrate purely on sexual risks, which, whilst potentially serious, are not the only danger out there. Older kids who are wise to the wiles of sexually predatory adults can still be surprisingly naive about other kinds of criminal. In particular, they tend to think of all employers as innately trustworthy, since the very fact of being employers imbues them with a certain authority. It’s important to make sure that they’re sufficiently informed to be cynical about employment offers they see online.
Kids don’t have credit cards, so, provided we’re careful with our own, we tend to think they’re safe from losing money online. They can, however, be exploited for their work, being paid very little or not at all, without proper contracts to give them legal recourse. They can also be used to perform illegal enterprises such as distributing unsolicited bulk email. Online precautions for parents should include talking through these risks to make sure that children make sensible decisions. It’s wise to advise them against taking on any kind of employment activity without first consulting you. After all, if the employer is genuine, they won’t mind waiting until their offer has been properly verified.