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Texting codes- keeping children safer online. What your teens don't want you to know. Protect your child's privacy onlin

Updated on February 20, 2015

The codes

In this article, I am going to attempt to help you break the codes so you can speak their language.I will give you some tips so when your Generation Y’er comes to you with the inevitable request for a cell phone with unlimited texting or a Facebook account you will be able to breathe a little easier knowing you have some useful information at your disposal. Aside from the universal acronyms, we all know well and tend to use excessively often like LOL and LMAO, there are a few less know acronyms making their rounds that you need to know about such as:

  • CD9 or Code 9 -(Parents are around)
  • KPC -(Keeping parents clueless)
  • MOS -(Mom over shoulder)
  • ZERG- (To gang up on someone or to bully)
  • LMIRL- (Lets meet in real life)
  • 420- (Marijuana)
  • DOC- (Drug of Choice)
  • TDTM- (Talk dirty to me)

Technological whiz kids

It seems that at some point every parent has thought to himself or herself some variation of “What is happening to kids these days”. I am a parent of 5 children and I'm certain that they are somehow a different breed of human. They seem smarter, faster, and stronger and they have a look in their eyes that exudes an understanding or depth of knowledge I am certain I did not possess at such a young age. It’s not just my children I see this in; I see it in the way kids are born tuned into some collective knowledge that gives them the ability to naturally know how to use technology to their advantage. Watch how long or rather how easily a 6 year old getting his or her first taste of a PlayStation 3 is able to transition from a clumsy child to a hand eye co-ordination whiz within minutes.

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Advice for parents with kids online

Facebook can be dreaded territory for a parent, its intimidating trying to maintain our privacy while appearing to be modern and finding the delicate balance between staying connected and not over sharing. I am sure we have all had our moments of regret where we wish we could not only delete our last “post” but also erase our comment completely out of the minds of the people who happened to read it before we realized we wanted to take it back. One huge advantage that we have as adults when using an online community is that we have learned the hard lesson of keeping our trusted circle small and we have outgrown the desire to meet strange people who seem exciting. We have lived through the pains of being young and short sighted now we just have to make sure our children live to do the same!

Does your child use social media? If so how old are they?

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Internet 101 for teens & parents

Tips #1- ALWAYS KEEP YOUR CHILDRENS PROFILE PRIVATE

Tip #2- Suggest that they make their age 18 or older so possible predators skip over their profiles in search of younger people.

Tip #3- Make your child give you their passwords and let them know you will be monitoring their page. Simply being their friend will not keep you in the loop since Facebook has settings that will allow them to keep information from you by adding you to a restricted access list.

Tip #4- Let them know that if you do not know someone IN REAL LIFE, they should not be friends with them in cyber-land; if you see a strange new name investigate how your child knows them.

Tips #5- While discussing Facebook with your child explain to them that their teachers and coaches or mentors can possibly see what they post. Also let them know that future employers or college admissions reps might “Google” them to get a feel for their character. In this modern age of instant everything, your online reputation is just as important as your reputation in your neighborhood. The internet is a global network; it is not easy to hide your tracks.

Tip #6- It is not just your child that needs to understand social networking it is also your children’s friends. If your son or daughter has a friend, who talks too much or over shares personal information it can also put your child at risk. Make sure your child knows it is ok to speak up and ask a friend to remove something that is not very flattering or makes them look badly. Even when your profile is private, if someone tags your picture as his or her own it becomes his or hers as well as yours.

The internet can be a scary place, but if you are well informed and you trust your child to listen to your advice and heed your warnings, it can also open up a world of knowledge and endless possibilities. I am daily reminded myself how important communication is, with my spouse, my friends and most definitely my children.

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© 2014 Karen Ranoni

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