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Crime Watch: Sexy Internet acronyms used by youngsters are no LOL matter

Here’s some helpful information about Internet acronyms for parents from website Connect With Kids and CNN:

Acronyms are widely used across the Internet, especially on social media and texting apps.

Some acronyms can be a shorthand for relations, drugs and alcohol.

Experts say parents should be aware of acronyms and talk to their children about them.

Expert: “Asking kids not only gives you great information, but it shows that you’re paying attention”

(CNN) — If you think you are tech savvy all because you know what “LOL” means, let me test your coolness.

Any idea what “IWSN” stands for in Internet slang?

If it makes you feel any better, I had no clue, and neither did a number of women I asked about it. Acronyms are widely popular across the Internet, especially on social media and texting apps, because, in some cases, they offer a shorthand for communication that is meant to be instant.

So “LMK” — let me know — and “WYCM” — will you call me? — are innocent enough. But the issue, especially for parents, is understanding the slang that could signal some dangerous teen behavior, such as “GNOC,” which means “get naked on camera.”

And it certainly helps for a parent to know that “PIR” means parent in room, which could mean the teen wants to have a conversation about things that his or her mom and dad might not approve of.

Katie Greer is a national Internet safety expert who has provided Internet and technology safety training to schools, law enforcement agencies and community organizations throughout the country for more than seven years.

She says research shows that a majority of teens believe that their parents are starting to keep tabs on their online and social media lives.

“With that, acronyms can be used by kids to hide certain parts of their conversations from attentive parents,” Greer said. “Acronyms used for this purpose could potentially raise some red flags for parents.”

CNN’s Kelly Wallace talked to experts and reviewed sites to come up with a list of acronyms for parents.

But parents would drive themselves crazy, she said, if they tried to decode every text, email and post they see their teen sending or receiving.

“I’ve seen some before and it’s like The Da Vinci Code, where only the kids hold the true meanings (and most of the time they’re fairly innocuous),” she said.

Still, if parents come across any acronyms they believe could be problematic, they should talk with their kids about them, said Greer.

But how, on earth, is a parent to keep up with all these acronyms, especially since new ones are being introduced every day?

“It’s a lot to keep track of,” Greer said. Parents can always do a Google search if they stumble upon a phrase they aren’t familiar with, but the other option is asking their children, since these phrases can have different meanings for different people.

“Asking kids not only gives you great information, but it shows that you’re paying attention and sparks the conversation around their online behaviors, which is imperative.”

After you read this list, you’ll likely start looking at your teen’s texts in a whole new way.

GNOC - Get naked on camera

NIFOC - Naked in front of computer

PIR - Parent in room

9 - Parent watching

99 - Parent gone

1174 - Party meeting place

CID - Acid (the drug)

Broken - Hungover from alcohol

420 - Marijuana

POS - Parent over shoulder

SUGARPIC - Suggestive photo

KOTL - Kiss on the lips

(L)MIRL - Let’s meet in real life

PRON - Porn

TDTM - Talk dirty to me

CD9 - Parents around/Code 9

WTTP - Want to trade pictures?

DOC - Drug of choice

TWD - Texting while driving

KPC- Keeping parents clueless

Source: CNN

Carmen Caldwell is executive director of Citizens’ Crime Watch of Miami-Dade. Send feedback and news for this column to carmen@citizenscrimewatch.org, or call her at 305-470-1670.

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