On Your Side Safety Check: Cyber crime expert warns about predatory acronyms, language
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - The Pell City Police Department is posting on social media about common slang and terminology used by online predators.
While slang is commonly used between young people, officers warn criminals are using these acronyms to manipulate victims.
It’s all too common for parents to lose touch with the latest slang or the latest acronyms their children are using with their friends but sometimes those people on the other end of the device aren’t their friends and experts say adults need to be able to comprehend the conversation.
“This is the intersection of cyber crime and online predators and criminality and it can only be abated by educating ourselves,” said Jay Town. He’s the former US attorney for the Northern District of Alabama and the current Vice President & General Counsel at Gray Analytics.
He says learning the slang or acronyms can protect your children.
“Not knowing what applications your children are using to communicate with others, not knowing the slang they’re using in those communications, it’s the same as not knowing where your children are after midnight,” Town explains.
It’s a potentially dangerous situation, easily avoided if you’re involved in your child’s technology use.
“What online predators and online criminals try to do is really mask their intentions,” said Town. “Not only do they pose as a 12 year old girl talking to another 12 year old girl when they’re an adult male, they also like to use this online slang so if an unwitting parent or teacher sees it, they might not know what it means.”
- GNRN - Get Naked Right Now
- LMIRL - Let’s Meet In Real Life
- P911 - Parent Alert
- PIR - Parent In Room
- NP4NP - Naked Pic for Naked Pic
- CD9 or Code 9 - Parents are Around
Town explains a few of them: “Let’s Meet In Real Life. That’s a very strange request for a friend of your small child to make. Right? That should be something that has already happened or they shouldn’t be chatting at all... There’s a parent alert or a parent in a room. What’s that supposed to protect against? More chat. More innappropriate behavior online. Right? My parent is over my shoulder so you gotta tone it down or let’s talk about something else.”
He says there’s no excuse anymore for being confused on what’s in your kid’s phone.
“If you don’t know what it means as a parent, find out,” he said. “Give it a Google. This is all publicly available information. Call me at Gray Analytics and I’ll tell you what it means and I only know because of a lifetime spent fighting crime.”
Town says these secret conversations aren’t just about online predators. He says sometimes this is how online thieves also find out information to gain access to information, passwords, even your finances, so be sure to get involved and monitor all tech your kid has access to.
Copyright 2023 WBRC. All rights reserved.