Library program teaches parents and children how to stay safe online



PHOTO BY JENNIFER OSBORN

Nina Milliken, education coordinator for Downeast Sexual Assault, spoke to a group of 15 parents and students about social media safety Wednesday at the Blue Hill Public Library.

BLUE HILL — The recent death of Penobscot County teen Nichole Cable, who was lured in by a man pretending to be someone else on Facebook, has prompted many parents to worry about Internet safety.

To that end, the Blue Hill Public Library brought in Downeast Sexual Assault Education Coordinator Nina Milliken and Client Services Coordinator Jodi Leach to talk about social media safety Wednesday.

About 15 residents, including mothers, their daughters and sons from Blue Hill, Brooksville, Sedgwick and Deer Isle-Stonington, attended the meeting.

To prepare, Milliken had visited the Facebook page of a recent George Stevens Academy graduate. The educator was able to get a wealth of information about the girl. The data included where the girl lived and worked and directions to her home and workplace, the names of her parents and siblings and where they lived and worked and 662 photos of the girl.

“That’s scary,” Milliken said.

Social Media Safety Tips from Nina Milliken, education coordinator at Downeast Sexual Assault Services

For Children and Teens

-Don’t accept friend requests from someone you don’t know.

-Don’t include information on your Facebook page about relationships-such as who your parents are or where they work or names of siblings. A predator could use that information to find out when a young person is home alone.

-Get your faces out of the screen. Tourists are spending money to see the beauty of where we live, said Milliken. “Angry Birds, that’s not nature.”

For Parents

-Parents-keep laptops and home computers in the living room or kitchen to monitor Internet activity.

-Control home Wi-fi passwords. Change it at a certain time each evening. Your child can have the new password the next day.

-Look at web browsing histories on computers your children use. Look at cell phones to see who children are texting and what they are texting.

-If you friend your children on Facebook, don’t assume you are privy to everything they post. Facebook users can sort their friends into groups and manage which group sees which post.

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Jennifer Osborn

Jennifer Osborn

Reporter and columnist at The Ellsworth American
Jennifer Osborn

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