Phoebe Flint and Phoebe Morgan were among more than 250 students who took part in an online safety talk with local police officer Steven Jeffery on February 20.
Part of an ongoing collaboration between local police and schools, Hastings Secondary College Port Macquarie Campus hosted the police liaison officer who spoke to year 7 and 8 students about the dangers present in the online world.
"Today we have been learning about the need to be safe online and about the dangers and predators that are trying to target young people," Phoebe Flint said.
"A lot of the information I already knew, but some of it was new. I think it is worrying that people might not know about how to stay safe online.
"Just recently I deleted my Snapchat and Instagram apps but I will reload them and change all the settings to private so people can't see what I have posted."
Take home messages from the talk included thinking about who might see social media posts and ensuring students know the people they talk to online.
"For me one of the biggest things I will take away is not to go and try to meet up with people we don't know," Phoebe Morgan said.
"It was pretty surprising how many bad things can happen to young people if they are not aware of the dangers."
Senior constable Steven Jeffery said that his role in the police is to go around and educate young people on a range of different issues including staying safe online.
"Prevention is better than a cure and students are so impressionable at this age," Mr Jeffery said.
"Young people take part in risky decision making and my job is to help educate them so they can make better decisions.
"Today we spoke about online predators and the risks associated with talking to strangers online. We also spoke about the ramifications of sending sexually explicit images to friends, bullying - online and face to face - as well as consent.
"Most of the students I spoke to today are already being exposed to social media but have no idea about the social, emotional and potentially physical effects that can take place."
Mr Jeffery said it takes a community to raise a child and it is in the best interest of everyone to ensure young people know how to be safe.
"The students have been really engaged and asking lots of questions which means they are taking what we are talking about seriously," he said.
"Even after my talk I had a few students coming up to me to have a chat. I hope that these conversations continue in the coming hours and days for the students and if they have any concerns they go straight to their teachers."
Kelly Miller, deputy principal at Hastings Secondary College Port Macquarie Campus said talks like this are vital for students.
"Our school is really committed to making sure students are educated about cyber safety," Mrs Miller said.
"Our partnership with the local police is instrumental in ensuring our students stay safe and know their rights and responsibilities when it comes to the online world."
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