Instant Messaging (IM)

Sending and Receiving Instant Messages (IM)


Instant messaging (or IM) is more than a way for people to send instantaneous text messages on their computers. Now you can use IM to talk as if on the phone, send photos, videos, and other files, show live video feeds of participants, and get and send e-mail. Some IM services also allow you to search the Web, find others using GPS, listen to music, watch videos, and play games. You can also make your IM space your own with items such as winks and avatars. It’s is even possible to give a buddy remote access to your computer!

Ten safety tips for instant messaging

  1. Choose a safe screen name that doesn’t give away personal information.
    1. Pick something that doesn’t help identify or locate you. For example, reveals enough for someone to find Susie-her name, age, and small town in Australia.
    2. Avoid using flirtatious names like “2sexy4U” or “I_like_handcuffs” which may cause unwanted attention and expose you to greater risk.
  2. Don’t share sensitive personal information when you use instant messaging.
    1. Never share passwords, social security number, credit card information, and the like.
    2. Don’t give away information in your status bar. You shouldn’t be showing emotions to people you don’t know well, or saying that you’re on vacation as these can be useful pieces of information to people who want to exploit or steal.
  3. Consider who you want to use IM with. Remember: a friend of a friend is a stranger. Some people only use IM with close friends and family, others use it much more openly. Decide what you’re comfortable with and set appropriate limits. You don’t have to add everyone who sends a request asking to be added to your contact list. Also, most services allow you to block messages from anyone not on your contact list or to keep your online status a secret, so you simply appear to be offline.
  4. Think twice before you open attachments or click links in instant messages-even if you know the sender. Sending photos, documents, and links in IM is an easy and convenient way to share with others, but the bad guys can use these to slip spam and viruses onto your computer.
    1. If you don’t know the sender, close the IM window; if you do know the sender, double-check that an attachment or link is safe to open. If you can’t confirm, your best bet is close the IM window.
    2. If anyone sends you inappropriate material, report it. Don’t shut down the computer; instead turn off the monitor and walk away. Tell your parents, your ISP, and the police, if appropriate.
  5. Avoid typing sensitive information into a public computer.
    This includes your name and phone numbers, account numbers and passwords, and home or e-mail addresses. An industrious thief might install a kind of spyware that records your every keystroke for the crook. Never select the feature that automatically logs you on to instant messaging when you start the computer, or accept a “Remember My Password” option.
  6. Be cautious about meeting in person someone you only know through IM.
    Everything someone tells you about themselves and their motivation for meeting you may be completely true – or none of it could be. They may feel like a close friend, but they are still a stranger so never go alone to meet. If you decide to meet someone, never go alone make sure others know where you’re going, and have your cell phone handy.
  7. Think about how to use the IM features safely.
    For example, some of the games may be more mature than is appropriate, and you may want to limit voice and video interactions with people you haven’t met. Only give another person remote access to your PC if you trust them completely and you have a clear problem they can help fix; kids should never give their online friends remote access to their computer.
  8. Consider what you’re saying and sharing in IM and how you would feel if the information was shared.
    Anything you say in IM can be forwarded to others – or perhaps monitored by your employer.
  9. Report harassment or bullying.
    As in real life, this is unacceptable behavior and in some cases can be illegal. Report harassment or abuse to your service provider. (Every service should have a clearly visible Report Abuse function; if it doesn’t consider switching providers.)
  10. Help protect children using IM.
    1. For younger children, use a service that allows you to limit your child’s contacts (so they can only send IM to people you both know) and allows you to monitor who they’re talking to. Limit access to a safe list of buddies.
    2. With teens, have a discussion about who they communicate with and what they talk about. Set boundaries that match your family’s values and their age, reassessing these boundaries periodically as they mature. Caution them not to list their IM names publicly, or respond to IM from someone they don’t know personally. (There is frequently “status” in having lots of contacts, but this often includes people whom they’ve never met.)
    3. If the IM program allows others to see your child’s friends (called “friends of friends” functionality), and allows your child to be seen by all of his friends’ friends, discuss with them what level of interaction is appropriate and make sure the program settings reflect your comfort level.

Learn More To learn more about how to play it safe when you use IM, see Chapter 8 (“Don’t Expose Yourself Through Instant Messaging”) in Look Both Ways.

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Having trouble understanding text messages?

That may be the point. While many short codes are used simply to save time others are deliberately used to keep
parents from knowing what is being said

2MORO Tomorrow
2NITE Tonight
4EVRYRS Forever yours
4get Forget
AAM As a matter of fact
AB Ah bless!
ADctd2Luv Addicted to love
ADR Address
AFAIC As far as I know
AKA Also known as
ALIWanIsU All I want is you
ALOrO All or nothing
ASAP As soon as possible
A/S/L Age/sex/location
ATB All the best
B4 Before
BaBitsU Baby it’s you
BBFN Bye bye for now
BBSD Be back soon darling
BCNU Be seeing you
BdBy Bad boy
BF Boyfriend
BFN Bye for now
BGWM Be gentle with me (please)
BOHICA Bend over here it comes again
BRB Be right back
BTW By the way
BYKT But you knew that
Cld9? Cloud 9?
CMIIW Correct me if I’m wrong
Crzy Crazy
CSThnknAU Can’t stop thinking about you
CU See you
CUIMD See you in my dreams
CUL8R See you later
CYA See ya
D8 Date
DIKU Do I know you?
DLTBBB Don’t let the bed bugs bite
DuUWnt2GoOut2nite? Do you want to go out tonight?
EOL End of lecture
F2F Face to face
F2T Free to talk
FITB Fill in the blank
FWIW For what it’s worth
FYEO For your eyes only
FYI For your information
GAO Glad all over
GF Girlfriend
GG Good game
GMeSumLuvin Gimme some lovin”
GMTA Great minds think alike
Gr8 Great
GrOvyBab Groovy baby
GrwOldWivMe Grow old with me
GSOH Good salary, own home
GSOH Good sense of humour
GTSY Glad to see you
Gtng2gther Getting together
GYPO Get your pants off
H8 Hate
HAGN Have a good night
HAND Have a nice day
HITULThtILuvU? Have I told you lately that I love
HldMeClse Hold me close
Hot4U Hot for you
HTH Hope this helps
H&K Hug and kiss
IAC In any case
ICLW\YLuv I can’t live without your love
IDK I don’t know
IDntDsrveU I don’t deserve you
IGotUBbe I got you babe
IIRC If I recall correctly
IJC2SalLuvU I just called to say I love you
ILUVU I love you
ILU I love you
IMBLuv It must be love
IMHO In my humble opinion
IMNSHO In my not so humble opinion
ImRdy4Luv I’m ready for love
ImT14U I’m the one for you
IOW In other words
IWALU I will always love you
IOWAN2BWU I only want to be with you
IPN I’m posting naked
IWSN I want sex now
IYKWIN If you know what I mean
IYSS If you say so
JM2p Just my two pennyworth
JstCLMe Just call me
KIT Keep in touch
KOTC Kiss on the cheek
KOTL Kiss on the lips
KPC Keeping parents clueless
L8 Late
L8R Later
LETA Letter
LOL Laughing out loud
LMAO Laughing my ass off
LstinU Lost in you
LTNC Long time no see
LMIRL Let’s meet in real life
LTR Long term relationship
LtsGt2gthr Let’s get together
LuvU Love you
Luv2LuvUBab Love to love you baby
LuvisTDrug Love is the drug
LuvMeLuvMyDog Love me, love my dog
M$ULkeCraZ Miss you like crazy
MGB May god bless
MkeMyDaSa+! Make my day, say yes
MMDP Make my day punk!
Mob Mobile
MoF Male or female?
MOOS Member(s) of the opposite sex
Member(s) of the same sex
MYOB Mind your own business
NAZ Name, address, zip
NE Any
NE1 Anyone
NO1 No one
NIFOC Naked in front of computer
NP Nosy parents
MO Moment
OIC Oh, I see
OLL Online love
OTOH On the other hand
P911 My parents are coming!
PA Parent alert
PAL Parents are listening
PM Private message
PANB Parents are nearby
PCM Please call me
PLS Please
PPL People
POS Parent over shoulder
Q? Question?
QT Cutie
R Are
ResQMe Rescue me
RMB Ring my bell
RmbaYaMne Remember you’re mine
ROTFL Rolling on the floor laughing
RU? Are you?
RUOK? Are you OK?
RUMORF Are you male or female?
Salt&ILDoIT Say it & I’ll do it
SETE Smiling ear to ear
SIT Stay in touch
SITD Still in the dark
SO Significant other
SOH Sense of humour
SOHF Sense of humour failure
SOME1 Someone
SorG Straight or gay?
SRy Sorry
StckOnU Stuck on you
StndByYaMan Stand by your man
SvnALMyLuv4U Saving all my love for you
SWALK Sent with a loving kiss
SWG Scientific wild guess
SYS See you soon
2Hot2Hndle Too hot to handle
TAW Teachers are watching
TDTU Totally devoted to you
TDTM Talk dirty to me
THNQ Thank you
Thx Thanks
Ti2GO Time to go
TIC Tongue in cheek
TkeAChnceOnMe? Take a chance on me?
TLMeImDrmn Tell me I’m dreaming
TMB Text me back
TMIY Take me I’m yours
TPTB The powers that be
TTFN Ta ta for now
TTYL8R Talk to you later
TWIMC To whom it may concern
U You
UCnDoMgic You can do magic
UdoSumthn2Me You do something to me
UR You are
U+Me=Luv You + me = love
WAN2 Want to
WAN2TLK? Want to talk
WenCnICUAgn? When can I see you again?
WER R U? Where are you?
WLUMRyMe? Will you marry me?
WRT With respect to
WTGP Want to go private
WTTW Word to the wise
WUWH Wish you were here
WYCM Will you call me?
WUF Where are you from?
WYRN What’s your real name?
X Kiss
XLNT Excellent
Xoxoxoxo Hugs and kisses
Xclusvly Yrs Exclusively yours
Y? Why?
YBS You’ll be sorry

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