Many parents in the dark when it comes to their kids and apps


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Many parents in the dark when it comes to their kids and apps

By Vince Vitrano, Stephanie Graham. CREATED May 10, 2013

Some moms and their teenagers took a technology test.  It asked about new apps that allow kids to call, text and send pictures for free, as well as the latest teen lingo.  Parents didn't score too well!

Carol was surprised to learn "LMIRL" means "let's meet in real life".
Michelle successfully guessed what "GYPO" means:  "Get your pants off."

Smartparents is a service that allows parents to monitor their children online, to show you what your teens could be saying on their high tech devices.

Gerry Polucci is CEO & founder of Smartparents.  He says, "There's been kind of an arms race between parents and technology and parents are losing."

You may think you're on top of it, watching what your kids text using the plans you pay for, but did you know there are new apps out there that allow teens to call and text for free?  They don't even need a data plan.  There are apps that allow people to text pictures, which disappear from the receiver's phone in seconds.

Hailey says though she's never sent a revealing picture, it happens.  "I'm not going to deny that pictures that are really risqué go through that too."

28% of teens report they've texted naked photos of themselves.

What teens don't realize is that the picture isn't always gone for good.

"The receiving person can take a screen shot of that on their iPhone," Polucci says.

Speaking of risque, the very latest chat terms are anything but innocent. 

Few parents knew that:
"GMRN" means "get naked right now"
"IMEZRU" means "I'm easy are you"

Teens use these abbreviations and hundreds more to "KPC": "Keep parents clueless".

They're not alone.  Polucci adds, "Sexual predators use these terms for much the same reason."

Tim Woda says an online sexual predator used teen chat abbreviations
Like "AL",  "age and location", to target his 14-year-old son.

"I was terrified," Tim exclaims.

Tim told police, and the man chatting with his son was arrested and pleaded guilty to sexual solicitation of a minor.

"This particular predator had over 250,000 lines of sentences in code written in his computer where he was targeting and grooming children," Tim explains.

Smartparents suggests you monitor the apps your child downloads and stay on top of the tech lingo.  Odds are your kids are.