The secret codes predators are using to snare kids - and fool parents

During the global pandemic, child predators have taken to trawling homework sites for potential victims - and with more kids online for longer than ever before, they’re finding them. Specialised code is helping them to escape detection.

Social media acronyms have been around as long as social media. (Remember when your mother - or maybe even you - thought LOL was short for “love you lots”?) And new ones are being invented all the time. Some have even entered into everyday usage: BFF (Best Friends Forever) or FOMO (Fear of Missing Out, in case you really have missed out!).

For most of us, this shorthand is just a fun, easy way to communicate on our devices. But for online predators, specialised acronyms and number symbols are an indispensable means to a sinister end: communicating with potential child targets while evading detection by parents and law enforcement.

Or, to use a favourite acronym: KPC (Keeping Parents Clueless).

A child alone online with no parental supervision for a large portion of the day is exactly what a predator seeks ...

The Child Rescue Coalition, a US-based group working to end the sexual exploitation of children, has identified 30 of these code phrases, and they're urging parents to be aware of them when checking their children’s texts and posts.

8: Oral Sex

99: Parent Gone

142: I love you

182: I hate you

1174: Nude Club

ASL: Age/Sex/location

CD9: Code 9 - parents are around

FYEO: For your eyes only

GNOC: Get Naked on camera

GYPO: Get your pants off

HAK: Hugs and kisses

IWSN: I want sex now

KFY: Kiss for you

KPC: Keeping parents clueless

MIRL: Meet in real life

MOS: Mom over shoulder

NIFOC: Nude in front of computer

NSFW: Not safe for work

P911: Parent alert

PAW: Parents are watching

PAL: Parents are listening

PIR: Parent in room

POS: Parent over shoulder

PRON: Porn

RUMORF: Are you Male or female?

SWAK: Sealed with a kiss

TDTM: Talk dirty to me

WTTO: Want to trade pictures?

Parents can also protect their children by explaining that sharing even perfectly innocent personal info online can make them vulnerable.


Child predators have increasingly migrated to homework sites.

"They'll go on these chat sites with other teens and they'll assume they are other teens and they'll say, 'Man I hate it, my mom and dad leave for work' and 'I'm here alone eight hours,'” explains cybersecurity expert Chris Hadnagy. 

A child alone online with no parental supervision for a large portion of the day is exactly what a predator seeks to begin the grooming process. 

Experts say that during the pandemic, child predators have migrated to homework sites, in addition to online gaming sites that feature interactive chat.

The next step in the grooming process is to move the conversation onto another platform - Kik or Instagram or WhatsApp.  “We're seeing that a lot," Hadnagy says.


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Topics: Cyber Bullying, Parental Controls, Screen time, Mobile Apps, Cyber Safety, online predators, paedophile, child predator

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