February 22, 2018

Netspeak: an internet safety guide for parents

The internet contains the good, the bad and everything in between. As adults, many of us have the tendency to assume children know how to behave, but in fact they can be very vulnerable online, lacking the savvy needed to stay secure and steer clear of danger.

A particular cause for concern is the growing divide between parents and children when it comes to knowledge of the internet and the slang terms associated with it. Very often it’s vulnerable children who are keeping up with changing technology and ‘cyber slang’, leaving parents lagging behind. But for parents, understanding the technology and slang their children are using is essential when it comes to spotting the risks to which kids are exposed online.


We’ve put together this common sense guide to help you learn more about internet lingo and equip you to spot online risks, putting you in a better position to identify potential risks and talk effectively about them with your children. Without this knowledge, you’re far less equipped to understand what your kids are getting up to when they’re sitting on the computer for hours at a time, and far less able to protect them from the very real threats, such as reputation damage and online predators, posed by the internet.

This guide is designed to reveal the main issues children face online, help you spot these risks and set your own boundaries, as well as explaining what to do if you think your child is at risk.

We have also included a quick reference guide for children in a clear Q and A format, so they’ll know what to do in a variety of common circumstances, plus a resource list to point you in the right direction for more fine detail, support and specialist advice. 

Some useful statistics*

• 58% of youngsters admit someone has said hurtful things to them online.

• More than 80% of teenagers use a handheld device, and it’s the commonest way to carry out bullying.

• 68% of teenagers realize cyberbullying is a problem and 81% feel it’s easier to get away with online.

• Only 1 in 10 victims will tell an adult about online abuse.

• Anywhere between 20% and 75% of children have been bullied online, depending on which study you read. Some research reveals that one in four have experienced it more than once.

• 70% of students say they regularly see online bullying going on.

• 90% of teens who have come across cyberbullying ignore it.

• Girls are twice as likely to get involved in cyberbullying as boys.

• 75% or so of students have visited a website saying nasty things about a fellow student.

• People who are bullied are anywhere between twice and nine times more likely to think about suicide.

* From EndCyberBullying.org, StopCyberBullying.org, InternetSafety101.org and StompOutBullying.com 

A parent’s guide to netspeak

81% of teenagers use netspeak, according to our recent survey. Older teens, between 13 and 18 years of age, use it most. The top three reasons why the teenagers surveyed use it are because it’s quicker to type or text (86%), because it’s what their friends use (41%) and because it’s ‘cool’ (25%). And 12% said they use text speak because it’s the way they tend to speak.

If you want to know what your children are doing online, you need to know what they’re talking about. Netspeak, where you abbreviate sentences and statements, is constantly evolving.

Here are the most popular terms:

*1337 – elite
<3 – love
@ – at
a/s/l – age, sex, location
addy – address
admin – administrator
afk – away from keyboard
ai – artificial Intelligence
any1 – anyone
asap – as soon as possible
atm – at the moment
awsm – awesome
b/c – because
b4 – before
bah – i don’t really care
bai – bye
bbl – be back later
bbs – be back soon
bcnu – be seeing you
bk – back
boi – boy
brb – be right back
bts – be there soon
char – character
chilax – chill and relax in one word
cluebie – clueless newbie
cmon – come on
cya – goodbye
d/c – disconnected
d/l – download
d/w – don’t worry
e.g. – example
eta – estimated time of arrival
exp – experience
fo’ shizzle – for sure
fave – favorite
fps – first person shooter
ftp – file transfer protocol
ftw – For the win
fyi – for your information
gmod – global moderator
gr8 – great
gtg – got to go
h/o – hold on
hai – hello
http – hyper text transfer protocol
i c – i see
idc – i don’t care
idk – I don’t know
idm – I don’t mind
idn – i don’t know
im – Instant Message
im’d – instant messaged
imho – in my humble opinion
ip – internet protocol
irl – in real life
j/k – just kidding
jks – jokes
k – ok
k3wl – cool
kewl – cool
kia – killed In action
kk – ok
kotor – knights of the old republic
kthnxbai – okay, thanks, bye
l8r – see you later
lmao – laughing my *** off
lmbo – laughing my **** off
lol – laughing out loud
lolz – laugh out loud
lotr – lord of the rings
m8 – mate
mai – my
meh – whatever
mhm – yes
mia – missing In action
mmk – ok
mmo – massive multiplayer online
mod – moderator
msg – message
mtfbwu – may the force be with you
mwah – kiss
mmorpg – massively multiplayer online role playing game
n00b – newbie
nah – no
nething – anything
neway – anyway
nm – not much
np – no problem
nrg – energy
ntm – not to much
nvm – never mind
oh noes – oh no!
oic – oh, I see
omg – oh my god
omw – on my way
p/w – password
p2p – peer to peer
pls – please
pm – private message
ppl – people
pwn3d – owned
qna – question and answer
rawr – roar
roflmao – rolling on floor laughing my *** off
rl – real life
rofl – rolling on floor laughing
roflcopter – Rolling on the floor laughing
ror – raughing out roud
rp – roleplay
rpg – role playing game
s’ok – it’s okay
sowwie – sorry
soz – sorry
srsly – seriously
thx – thank you
ttfn – ta ta for now
ttyl – talk to you later
ttys – talk to you soon
ty – thank you
tyt – take your time
uber – epic
ur – your
w/e – whatever
woot – woohoo
wth – what the hell
www – world wide web
xp – experience
zomg – oh my god

If there is a term that is not on this list you can decode it at noslang.com






This post was originally published in knowthenet.org.uk and is used with permission on kidfocused.com.

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