Always looking for ways to help out parents, the good people at Microsoft wrote a guide to help understand their kids’ chats. It’s amazing how serious the author takes the subject.
Key points for learning leetspeek
Numbers are often used as letters. The term “leet” could be written as “1337,” with “1” replacing the letter L, “3” posing as a backwards letter E, and “7” resembling the letter T. “0” (zero) will typically replace the letter “O.”
Mistakes are often uncorrected. Common typing misspellings (or typos) such as “teh” instead of “the” are left uncorrected and may be adopted to replace the correct spelling.
But then, we see the real reason they wrote this.
The following is a sample of key words that haven’t changed fundamentally (although variations occur) since the invention of leetspeek. The first series is of particular concern, as their use could be an indicator that your teenager is involved in the theft of intellectual property, particularly licensed software.Leet words possibly indicating illegal activity:
“warez” or “w4r3z”: Illegally copied software available for download.
“h4x”: Read as “hacks,” or what a computer hacker does.