SHREVEPORT, La. (KSLA) - Knowledge is power when it comes to our children. The days of simply keeping the computer in the living room are over because nowadays, kids carry their mini computers in their pockets.
From cellphones to iPads, our children have access to things we could have never have imagined. That’s why parents need to understand any texting codes/acronyms to make sure they are not involved in any inappropriate activity.
Many of these codes are often designed to hide things from you.
It’s also important to know what apps your child is using on his/her phone. Decide which apps or social networks are appropriate for your child’s age, needs and maturity level. You may want to consider installing parental control apps on your child’s phone.
Some of the most common types of monitoring apps include web content filtering, app blocking, time management and location tracking.
Just remember, kids love to talk to other kids in their own language. They also love to use social media apps they may feel are innocent but as parents, we need to recognize and talk with them about the danger.
Here’s a list of acronyms/codes that are common among children used online to keep parents in the dark:
- KYS - Kill yourself
- KMS - Kill myself
- ADR - What’s your address
- AYOR - At your own risk
- PAP - Post a picture
- IWSN - I want sex now
- GNOC - Get naked on camera
- NIFOC - Naked in front of computer
- PIR - Parent in room
- PAL - Parents are listening
- FWB - Friends with benefits
- CU46 - See you for sex
- 53X - Sex
- 9 - Parent watching
- 99 - Parent gone
- 1174′ - Party meeting place
- CID - Acid (the drug)
- Broken - Hungover from alcohol
- 420 - Marijuana
- 404 - Don’t have a clue
- POS - Parent over shoulder
- SUGARPIC - Suggestive or erotic photo
- KOTL - Kiss on the lips
- (L)MIRL - Let's meet in real life
- PRON - Porn
- TDTM - Talk dirty to me
- 8 - Oral sex
- CD9 - Parents around/Code 9
- IPN - I'm posting naked
- LH6 - Let's have sex
- WTTP - Want to trade pictures?
- DOC - Drug of choice
- TWD - Texting while driving
- GYPO - Get your pants off
- KPC- Keeping parents clueless
Below, is a list of the most popular types of social media apps and websites that are primarily used by teens including, self-destructing, secret, chatting, meeting and dating apps.
- GroupMe is an app that doesn’t charge fees or have limits for direct and group messages. Users also can send photos, videos, and calendar links.
- Kik Messenger is an app that lets kids text for free. It’s fast and has no message limits, character limits, or fees if you only use the basic features. Because it’s an app, the texts won’t show up on your kid’s phone’s messaging service, and you’re not charged for them (beyond standard data rates). Stranger danger is an issue. Kik allows communication with strangers who share their Kik usernames to find people to chat with.
- WhatsApp lets users send text messages, audio messages, videos, and photos to one or many people with no message limits or fees. It’s for users 16 and over. Lots of younger teens seem to be using the app, but this age minimum has been set by WhatsApp.
- Discord started as a place for gamers to chat while playing video games but has become a bigger platform where users can use text, voice-chat, and video-chat to discuss a wide variety of topics. Teens can join public groups, ask to join private ones, or start their own. The safest option is for them to join a private group with people they know in real life.
PHOTO AND VIDEO-SHARING APPS AND SITES
- Instagram lets users snap, edit, and share photos and 15-second videos, either publicly or within a private network of followers. Posting a photo or video can be problematic if teens are posting to validate their popularity. Kids can send private messages.
- Tik Tok - Real Short Videos is a performance- and video-sharing social network that mostly features teens lip-synching to famous songs. Because the platform features popular music and a mix of teen and adult users, swearing and sexual content are commonplace.
MICROBLOGGING APPS AND SITES
- Tumblr is like a cross between a blog and Twitter: It’s a streaming scrapbook of text, photos, and/or video and audio clips. Parents keep in mind, porn is easy to find. This online hangout is hip and creative but sometimes raunchy.
LIVE-STREAMING VIDEO APPS
- Live.me – Live Video Streaming allows kids to watch others and broadcast themselves live, earn currency from fans, and interact live with users without any control over who views their streams.
- Snapchat is a messaging app that lets users put a time limit on the pictures and videos they send before they disappear. It’s a myth that Snapchats go away forever. Whenever an image is sent, it never truly goes away. It can make sexting seem OK. The seemingly risk-free messaging might encourage users to share pictures containing sexy images.
- There's a lot of iffy, clicky content. Snapchat's Discover feature offers a grab-bag of articles, videos, and quizzes from magazine publishers, TV networks, and online sources mostly about pop culture, celebrities, and relationships (a typical headline: "THIS is What Sex Does To Your Brain").
CHATTING, MEETING, AND DATING APPS AND SITES
- MeetMe: The name says it all. Although not marketed as a dating app, MeetMe does have a “Match” feature whereby users can “secretly admire” others, and its large user base means fast-paced communication and guaranteed attention. Lots of details are required. First and last name, age, and ZIP code are requested at registration, or you can log in using a Facebook account. The app also asks permission to use location services on your teens’ mobile devices, meaning they can find the closest matches wherever they go.