AFZ: Guide from SpectorSoft Creates Acronym-Free Zone
- By Dian Schaffhauser
Chat and Web monitoring doesn't do much good if the Web administrator, parent, or teacher can't interpret the meaning of acronyms used commonly by students, such as "CUNS" or "CUL8R." SpectorSoft, which sells monitoring software, has published a PDF document free with e-mail registration that spells out hundreds of crypto-terms used in e-mail, texting, chat, and on social networking sites. (CUNS translates to "see you in school," and CUL8R means "see you later.")
The company also launched new versions of its software, Spector Pro 2010, for Windows and Mac OS X. Spector Pro monitors and records everything a user does at the computer and on the Internet. It can also be set to block access to Web sites and file sharing services, prevent online chat with certain individuals, and e-mail an alert whenever specific keywords are used in e-mail and chat.
The new release includes a built-in version of the Internet lingo translator. Whenever the administrator or other Spector Pro user encounters any e-mail, chat, or instant message containing an unknown acronym, he or she can simply roll the mouse over it to get the term translated. As the company explained in a statement, "By understanding the one-digit difference between JFI (just for information) and JDI (just do it) or LHO (laughing head off) and LHOS (let's have online sex), parents can know whether their child is acting appropriately or whether critical decisions need to quickly be made to ensure their safety and well-being."
Dian Schaffhauser is a senior contributing editor for 1105 Media's education publications THE Journal and Campus Technology. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @schaffhauser.