Parents are being warned about “sexting codes” allegedly being used by teenagers to hide the true meaning of their conversation.
According to CBS2 in New York, teens are beginning to use a lot more texting abbreviations that their parents are unlikely to decode.
One teen, named Amari Sims, told the publication that her peers used phrases such as ‘GNOC’ meaning ‘get naked on camera’ and ‘IWS’ for ‘I want sex’.
The chief parent officer of mobile app Bark, that allows parents to monitor their children’s safety told CBS2 that parents must stay one step ahead of what kids are doing and saying to protect them.
She said parents should let their kids know they are aware of such codes.
In a blog for The Huffington Post UK, Peter Wanless, chief executive of the NSPCC, said parents need to talk about sexting more to their kids.
“Parents who have discovered that their child has been sharing sexual images of themselves should stay calm and try not to get angry with the young person,” he wrote.
“They should ask who the image has been sent to and where it has been shared and encourage them to delete images from their phone or own social media accounts.”
A study by the NSPCC earlier in the year revealed that 50% of parents do not know it is illegal for your child to take nude selfies. A young person (under 16 years old) is breaking the law if they:
Take an explicit photo or video of themselves or someone else
Share an explicit image or video of a child, even shared between people of the same age
Possess, download or store these images.
Giving advice to parents, Suzie Hayman Trustee of Family Lives previously told HuffPost UK: “Rather than waiting for something bad to happen, think about when and how you are going to start and keep the conversation going about the risks and rewards of the online world.
“Do not dismiss sexist language or behaviour as funny: “Remember that you need to a role model for them and they will look to you to determine what is right and what is wrong.”