When your child is talking online do you understand what you see on the screen? Most adolescents today use a form of chat lingo, which is an enhanced way to type when chatting online to friends or acquaintances. Chat lingo simply shortens commonly used words in order to allow people to “talk” or actually type faster. Yet for people who do not text or chat online the lingo can appear to be a kind of secret, mysterious language. Not knowing what your child is saying can hurt you or your child.
As a parent it is our responsibility to be cognizant of what our children are doing and whether or not they may be placing themselves in danger. What you do not know your child is doing can be the difference between life and death. Do you know who and what your child is saying online? Are you familiar with basic chat lingo?
When you walk into the room and see on the computer screen someone asking your 12-year-old son or daughter - “what is your a/s/l?”, “I am NIFOC r u?”, or “do you want to MIRL?” - will you understand what is going on?
The first one - “what is your a/s/l?” is asking him or her “what is your age/sex/location?”
The second one - “I am NIFOC r u?” is saying, “I am nude in front of camera are you?
Finally, the third one - “do you want to MIRL?” is asking your child “do you want to meet in real life?
This kind of talk called “online enticement,” according to the FBI and the National Center of Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC), is the use of the WWW to meet or help arrange a meeting for an adult to meet a child for inappropriate sexual acts. This is illegal.
Learn how to protect your child from pedophiles while they are online. The internet has become a virtual playground for pedophiles to find their next victim. Teach children never to give out any personal information online. They should never use their real name in their email, chat rooms, or profiles.
Allow children only to have real-life friends on their friend list. This means only people they have meet and know in person. Do not allow anyone from the cyber world. Explain that 14-year-old “Molly” from cyber space, may be 54-year-old “Fred” the pedophile who is posing as 14-year-old Molly, only to make your child feel comfortable enough to let her guard down.
The two most important rules, never meet anyone from online, ever. Do not allow children to use the internet alone in their bedrooms. If children use the internet in their bedrooms behind closed doors, he or she will invariably end up going places he or she should not be, whether intentionally or accidentally. Make sure your child uses the internet where you can easily see what he or she is typing or what websites they are visiting.
Children, especially teens need supervision while surfing the World Wide Web, as there is a dark side to the internet, where pedophiles lurk in the shadows waiting to find one child who is unsupervised, who feels lost and unloved. Then he or she will move in quickly to begin to groom the child, becoming the child’s friend.
Here is a list of what you might see on the screen and what it means:
• AFK-Away From Keyboard
• AUD-Are You Done?
• BBL- Be Back Later
• BRB-Be Right Back
• BFN-Bye For Now
• F2F-Face To Face
• GAL-Get a Life
• GYPO-Get Your Pants Off
• IWSN-I Want Sex Now
• LOL-Laughing Out Loud
• KPC-Keeping Parents Clueless
• KFY-Kiss For You
• LMIRL-Let's Meet In Real Life
• MorF-Male or Female
• MOS-Mom over Shoulder
• MOOS-Member Of Opposite Sex
• MOSS-Member Of Same Sex
• NALOPKT-Not A Lot Of People Know That
• NP-No Problem
• NIFOC-Nude In Front Of Computer
• PIR-Parent in Room
• PITA-Pain in the Ass
• POS-Parent Over Shoulder
• P911-Parent Alert
• PW-Parents Watching
• PL-Parents Are Listening
• ROTL-Roll on the Floor
• SorG-Straight or Gay
• TDTM-Talk Dirty To Me
• WYCM-Will You Call Me
• WTGP-Want to go Private
This is a small list of what is essentially an endless list. If you are unsure of what your child is talking about, ask him or her. Some teens are talking to adults online who are asking them to do and say things that they have no idea what it means. Children need to know that anytime someone online makes them feel uncomfortable when they do or say something the child should immediately log off and tell a grownup.
According to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC), a research study showed that in 1999 and 2000, 1 in 7 children out of 1,500 received a solicitation for a sexual act while online between the ages of 10 and 17. To make matters worse 4% of these encounters became “aggressive solicitations” meaning the adult attempted to reach or communicate with the child off line. Parents need to make children fully aware of the dangers online, after all if parents do not alert children to the dangers of the internet, then who will.