Laura Seitz, Deseret Morning News
Former Utah first lady Jacalyn Leavitt signs copies of her new books, "Faux Paws Meets the First Lady" and "Faux Paw's Adventures in the Internet," at Deseret Book in the ZCMI Center Friday.

Former Utah first lady Jacalyn Leavitt was in town Friday stumping for child Internet safety through her two new children's books.

Leavitt, wife of U.S. Health and Human Services secretary and former Utah Gov. Mike Leavitt, has authored "Faux Paw's Adventures in the Internet" and "Faux Paw Meets the First Lady," with a foreword by first lady Laura Bush and accompanying CD-ROM.

Leavitt presented the books at Bonneville Elementary in Salt Lake City and signed them at Deseret Book downtown. They will go to 500 elementary schools as part of the Utah Elementary School Library Project.

"As wonderful as the Internet is, there are so many dangers," said Leavitt, who has authored other children's books.

According to the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children and the Polly Klaas Foundation, 71 percent of teens reported receiving online messages from a stranger, 27 percent have talked with a stranger online about sex and 42 percent said they have posted personal information online.

"This is the first generation of parents that's had to engage in this subject," Leavitt said. "(Children) seem like they're born wired, and we're the computer immigrants. We cannot let that deter us from being proactive."

The books' main characters are named after Leavitt's and Bush's cats. "Faux Paw the Techno Cat" tells of a governor's cat that gets in trouble when she agrees to meet a person from a chat room. "Faux Paw Meets the First Lady" discusses cyberbullying and pushes safety.

The books urge children to follow the "3 Keeps" of Internet safety:

• Keep your personal information safe.

• Keep away from Internet strangers.

• Keep telling parents if something online makes you uncomfortable.

Likewise, parents can:

• Keep current with technology.

• Keep communicating with your children about their Internet experiences.

• Keep checking your children's Internet activity.

"There is no better firewall to protect children than an engaged parent," Leavitt said.

Visit www.iKeepSafe.org for more information.


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