Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Online Safety For Kids Series - Part 2

Our new book 'Empower Your Kids to be Safe...For Life' has been getting fantastic reviews and I am really stoked with the feedback. So I thought I'd pick some pieces of it and give them away for free to you. So over the next few blogs I will reporoduce parts of the section on Online safety, as I receive quite a few questions about this subject. Please let me know if you have any questions. Cheers. Phil

2) Openly Communicate and Participate

The more that you participate and communicate with your child about their online activities, without seeming meddlesome, the more you will be able to understand what they get up to and how safe they are being.

One of the best ways to do this is to let them show you, and teach you, things on the internet. Be open to learning new things from them and ask relevant (sometimes ‘loaded’) questions as you go. For example: “Thanks for showing me how the chat room works, can you please tell me how to make sure that no-one can view my personal information? Also, what are the best strategies that you use to avoid contact with predators online?” Questions like this allow you to gauge their level of understanding and competence in this area, and if it is good, you can reinforce it with praise. If it is clearly lacking you can give them guidance and help them set new boundaries.

It is also important that you understand chat and SMS text lingo. It can seem like a completely different language and it is important that you at least understand the basics of it to know what is being said.
Examples of just a few of the commonly used chat acronyms are:

A/S/L = Age/Sex/Location

CD9 or just 9 = Parents are around/watching

CTN = Can’t talk now

LMIRL = Lets meet in real life

ILU = I love you

IWSN = I want sex now

F2F = Face to face

GNOC = Get naked on cam

HAK = Hugs and kisses

KPC = Keeping parents clueless

TDTM = Talk dirty to me

PAL = Parents are listening

PAW = Parents are watching

WTF = What the f**k

WYRN = What’s your real name?

These are just a few of the relevant ones, so you can see that without any knowledge of chat lingo your kids could very well keep you in the ‘KPC’ category.

An excellent website that has been set up to help you decipher and understand chat lingo is www.netlingo.com. They even have an ‘Acronyms for parents’ section with the top chat acronyms that parents need to know.

3) To be continued in the next blog...

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