Part 4: Understanding Internet Shorthand

Alright moms and dads, say you are doing everything you are supposed to.

The computer is in a central location where you can monitor internet access.

You check out their pages.

You keep an eye on who they're talking with and how much time is spent online.

But do you understand what they're saying when you see the messages?

There is a whole language out there, codes and shorthand, familiar to those who chat on a regular basis.

For those of you who just periodically check, we've created a quiz.

Your teenager is chatting with someone online and you walk over to see what she's up to.
She types "P911."

What does it mean?
a- she's talking about homework, directing a classmate to page 911.
b- she's letting her friend know she'll be away from the computer for a minute to use the bathroom.
c- she's warning whomever is on the other end of that chat to watch what they say because you are around.

If you guessed C, you're right.
P911 is code for Parent Alert.

There are more.
PAL- Parents Are Listening
PAW- Parents Are Watching
CD9- Code nine, parents are around.

It goes on and on.

You're not going to start spending hours online each day to learn the lingo, but there are resources available to help figure some of it out.
We pulled these examples off

You can't be with your kids all the time and they are very often going to be online.

Banning from the internet or these social networking sites may not be a realistic answer for your family.

But you can educate yourself on what is going on in their lives, and educate them on how to make smart, safe choices.