Keeping your child safe online


A checklist for parents and carers

As a parent you’ll probably know how important the internet is to children and young people. They use it to learn, play, socialise and express themselves in all types of creative ways. This may be through sharing photos and videos, blogging, gaming, or even developing their own apps. It is a place of amazing opportunities. The technology children use in their daily lives can seem daunting. You might worry about the risks they can face online,  such as bullying, contact from strangers, as well as the possibility of access to inappropriate or illegal content. To help them stay safe, it’s important that you understand how your child uses the internet. By following this simple checklist, you can start to protect them and decrease the risks they face:

  • I have asked my child to show me sites they use – By doing so, your child is including you in their online life and social activity. Show an interest and take note of the names of their favourite sites. You can then re-visit these when you are alone. Take your time and explore the space, find out how to set the safety features and learn how to report any issues directly to the site.
  • I have asked my child to set their profile settings to private – Social networking sites, such as Facebook, are used by children to share information, photos and just about everything they do! Encourage your child to set their privacy settings to private. They need to think about the information they post online as it could be copied and pasted anywhere, without their permission. If it got into the wrong hands, somebody may wish to use it against them or worst of all try to locate them in the real world.
  • I have asked my child about their online friends – We know that people lie online about who they are and may create fake identities. It is very important children understand this. Whether they are visiting a social network or a gaming site, the safety messages are the same. Children and young people must never give out personal information and only be “friends” with people they know and trust in the real world.
  • I have set appropriate parental controls on my child’s computer, mobile and games console – Filters on computers and mobiles can prevent your child from viewing inappropriate and possibly illegal content. You can activate and change levels depending on your child’s age and abilities. You can also set time restrictions for using the internet or games. They can be free and easy to install. Call your service provider who will be happy to assist or visit CEOP’s parents' site for further information. Explain to your child why you are setting parental controls when you talk to them about their internet use.
  • My child has agreed to tell me if they are worried about something online – Sometimes children get into situations online where they don’t feel comfortable or see something they don’t want to see. By opening up the communication channels and talking to your child about the internet, their favourite sites and the risks they may encounter, they are more likely to turn to you if they are concerned about something.
  • I know where to get help if I’m concerned about my child – The CEOP Safety Centre provides access to a range of services. If you are concerned that an adult has made inappropriate contact with your child you can report this directly to CEOP. You can also find help if you think your child is being bullied, or if you’ve come across something on the internet which you think may be illegal.

Visit the Safety Centre at www.ceop.police.uk/safety-centre or for further help and guidance on all the information mentioned please visit: www.thinkuknow.co.uk/parents To download a pdf of the checklist please click here.

Advice for parents: Keeping your child safe with technology

These ‘secret’ sexting codes could help you protect your child.

Every mum and dad is naturally concerned about their child’s use of the internet and social media. But how much should we be monitoring their online behaviour? Should we also be involved in our kids’ habits when they text their friends too? These are questions parents must think about on a regular basis – particularly as digital and social habits change so quickly. In a constantly changing online world it’s easy for parents to get left behind – particularly as language changes in effect leave adults in the dark. In response to the fears many anxious parents have a police service has issued a list of abbreviations on their Facebook page.

The shortcuts include:

IWSN – I want sex now
A/S/L – Age/Sex/Location
KPC – Keeping parents clueless
GNOC – Get naked on cam
KYS – Kill yourself
WYRL – What’s your real name.

“Also prevention is better than cure so speak to your kids about their online activity, what they are using and respect the age limits of social media platforms – is it proper to set up a kid with a Facebook account at eight years old?
“What is an appropriate age to give your child a smart phone or device and data or wifi access?
“There are hundreds of text talk codes – a simple online search will reveal what any codes you spot actually mean.”

For comprehensive list of shortcuts, please see the list below:

1. 143 – I love you
2. 2DAY – Today
3. 4EAE – For ever and ever
4. ADN – Any day now
5. AFAIK – As far as I know
6. AFK – Away from keyboard
7. ASL – Age/sex/location
8. ATM – At the moment
9. BFN – Bye for now
10. BOL – Be on later
11. BRB – Be right back
12. BTW – By the way
13. CTN – Can’t talk now
14. DWBH – Don’t worry, be happy
15. F2F or FTF – Face to face
16. FWB – Friends with benefits
17. FYEO – For your eyes only
18. GAL – Get a life
19. GB – Goodbye
20. GLHF – Good luck, have fun
21. GTG – Got to go
22. GYPO – Get your pants off
23. HAK – Hugs and kisses
24. HAND – Have a nice day
25. HTH – Hope this helps / Happy to help
26. HW – Homework
27. IDK – I don’t know
28. IIRC – If I remember correctly
29. IKR – I know, right?
30. ILY / ILU – I love you
31. IM – Instant message
32. IMHO – In my honest opinion / In my humble opinion
33. IMO – In my opinion
34. IRL – In real life
35. IWSN – I want sex now
36. IU2U – It’s up to you
37. IYKWIM – If you know what I mean
38. J/K– Just kidding
39. J4F – Just for fun
40. JIC – Just in case
41. JSYK – Just so you know
42. KFY – Kiss for you
43. KPC – Keeping parents clueless
44. L8 – Late
45. LMBO – Laughing my butt off
46. LMIRL – Let’s meet in real life
47. LMK – Let me know
48. LOL – Laugh out loud
49. LSR – Loser
50. MIRL – Meet in real life
51. MOS – Mom over shoulder
52. NAGI – Not a good idea
53. NIFOC – Nude in front of computer
54. NM – Never mind
55. NMU – Not much, you?
56. NP – No problem
57. NTS – Note to self
58. OIC – Oh I see
59. OMG – Oh my God
60. ORLY – Oh, really?
61. OT – Off topic
62. OTP – On the phone
63. P911 – Parent alert
64. PAW – Parents are watching
65. PCM – Please call me
66. PIR – Parent in room
67. PLS or PLZ – Please
68. PPL – People
69. POS – Parents over shoulder
70. PTB – Please text back
71. QQ – Crying. This abbreviation produces an emoticon in text. It’s often used sarcastically.
72. RAK – Random act of kindness
73. RL – Real life
74. ROFL – Rolling on the floor laughing
75. RT – Retweet
76. RUOK – Are you okay?
77. SMH – Shaking my head
78. SOS – Someone over shoulder
79. SRSLY – Seriously
80. SSDD – Same stuff, different day
81. SWAK – Sealed with a kiss
82. SWYP – So, what’s your problem?
83. SYS – See you soon
84. TBC – To be continued
85. TDTM – Talk dirty to me
86. TIME – Tears in my eyes
8 7. WYCM – Will you call me?
88. TMI – Too much information
89. TMRW – Tomorrow
90. TTYL – Talk to you later
91. TY or TU – Thank you
92. VSF – Very sad face
93. WB – Welcome back
94. WTH – What the heck?
95. WTPA – Where the party at?
96. WYCM – Will you call me?
97. YGM – You’ve got mail
98. YOLO – You only live once
99. YW – You’re welcome
100. ZOMG – Oh my God (sarcastic)
101. 182 – I hate you
102. 420 – Marijuana
103. ADR – Address
104. CD9 – Code 9 – it means parents are around
105. ILU – I Love You
106. KOTL – Kiss On The Lips
107. LMIRL – Let’s Meet In Real Life
108. NIFOC – Nude In Front Of The Computer
109. P999 – Parent Alert
110. PAL – Parents Are Listening -or- Peace And Love
111. RU/18 – Are You Over 18?