Emojis = The New Acronyms
The days of “”LOLing” for teens and pre teens, are pretty much over.
Only a few years back, parents may have been scrambling to decipher the many acronyms teens used to disguise their nefarious activities.
Rick Floyd, Greenville County Schools’ head of Information Security warns the latest deception dialect is emojis.
“It may look innocent, but they’re talking about sex, they’re talking about meetings, hookups, they’re talking about a lot of things with emojis that you may not think about, as an adult it looks pretty innocent,” said Floyd
Who would have known the image of the peach and the telephone means “booty call.” Here is one of many articles on what they mean.
Jennifer Canfield, a mother of two teens, plans to Google the rest, a good idea for all parents who have kids with cell phones.
“You do see in text messages that every little thing has an emoji, so I will have to look,” she said.
If only it stopped at emoji coded.
Then there’s apps.
“Yellow,” which just changed its name to “Yubo” is one of many designed to hide content.
“Just because you don’t see it, doesn’t mean it’s not there on a cell phone,” said Floyd.
There are even a calculator app that looks, and functions just like a real calculator. But when you type in a code it reveals pictures that you’ve hidden inside the app that parents would never know about.
To avoid questionable downloads, withhold your app store password from your kids, so they can’t put anything you don’t know about on the phone.
Also, do frequent random checks of their phones.
“I can tell when she’s done something because she’s like ‘Do you have to look at it today?’ And I’m like, yeah, or you lose it,” said Canfield
There are filters that parents can get through the phone company and app that track keystrokes so they can see everything kids text. Some even show certain apps like Instagram and Snapchat.
But there’s nothing out there that tracks all the apps, so you just have to stay vigilant.