Monday, April 21, 2014
(Continued from page 2)
MEET THE AUTHOR
HERE ARE J.A. Hitchcock's upcoming appearances in Maine:
• Maine Open Reads, noon to 2 p.m., Belgrade Public Library, 124 Depot Road, Belgrade. 495-3508; email@example.com
• Nonesuch Books, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., 403 Mariner Way, Biddeford. 282-2638
• Book signing at Sherman's Books and Stationery, 128 Main St., Freeport.
869-9000; (877) 474-3762; firstname.lastname@example.org
HITCHCOCK ALSO teaches online safety for the Salvation Army's Tools for Life program at 297 Cumberland Ave., Portland. For more information, call Mary Irace at 774-4172, Ext. 262. Upcoming dates are:
• June 11, 10 a.m. to noon
• Aug. 27, 10 a.m. to noon
• Nov. 12, 10 a.m. to noon
Q: Are most stories in the stalking/burglary category?
A: Yeah, and then you have the ones where people actually kill, like the Craigslist killer. He went on Craigslist for so-called masseuses and ended up killing several women. Then you have the bullies when you get into kids and teens, and they're beating up people and posting videos of it. It's a little bit of everything.
Q: What are the top three things parents can do to protect their kids?
A: Know where your kids are going online. Know what they're using. If they're on Facebook, either you've got to be on Facebook or you've got to have at least a working knowledge of it. Have them show you. Now the kids are kind of drifting a little bit away from Facebook, and they're going to Snapchat. There's Kik. Instagram. Start educating yourself about what is out there and what kids are doing.
Just say, "Hey, that looks like a cool website, you're on, what is that?" Just ask, because kids love to show off. And if you don't have a Facebook account or you want to get one, just say, "Can you help me start up this profile? I don't know what I'm doing." And kids will help.
And then just be very open with your kids and talk with them ... Don't make them feel like they're going to be punished for coming to you because they accidentally clicked on a link and went to a porno site or some stranger is contacting them on Facebook or sent them nasty photos on Snapchat. It's not their fault.
You've got to make sure that no matter how upset you are with the situation, don't take it out on the kids. Work with them. Sit down and say, "OK, let's see what's going on here. OK, we can contact Snapchat, we can contact Facebook. Let's block this person." Just be very open, and listen to your kids.
Staff Writer Meredith Goad can be contacted at 791-6332 or at: