Craigslist is an amazing site that helps you access all of the offerings of your local community. From dating to friendships, pets to childcare, jobs to furniture, and everything in between, the odds are good that there’s something you want on Craigslist (and probably a lot you didn’t even realize you wanted till you saw Craigslist). However, the anonymous and completely free nature of Craigslist can make it more susceptible to scams and danger than other internet sites, so it’s important to make sure you’re using craigslist safely. Here’s how to do that:
Take Advantage of the Anonymous Email Address
Craigslist offers a reply-to feature that allows people to reply to your email address by using an anonymous craigslist address. Rather than using your actual email address, which can then be sold to advertisers or used to spam you, use craigslist’s anonymous email address feature.
Don’t Post Pictures that Share Too Much
You should never post a picture of yourself on craigslist. Anyone can see it and then they’ll know you’re on craigslist looking for a date, a friend, or a job. Moreover, then people have access to your picture and you have no control over what they do with it. Even more important is to not post pictures of your home, car, or other identifying items that would allow someone with ill intentions to find you. If you’re having a yard sale, don’t post photos of your address. Instead, allow users to e-mail you and ask for your address rather than just giving it to the entire internet while talking about the big screen tv that will be in your yard!
Don’t Give Out Personal Information
Last names, phone numbers, and addresses should never, ever be placed in your craigslist ad or in an email replying to a craigslist ad. Instead, wait until you are comfortable with the person with whom you are making contact before revealing this information. And never, ever give your bank account information to anyone you’ve met over craigslist. This is a well-known craigslist scam!
Special caution is always necessary when meeting people online, whether it’s for a date, a job, or a piece of furniture. If anything seems fishy about an e-mail, do not meet someone, and make sure family and friends know you will be. It’s generally a good idea to take someone with you on a first meeting to get a piece of furniture or to interview for a childcare position. Have them drop you off and wait outside, and if you feel uncomfortable at any point, leave.
Craigslist is generally a safe, nurturing community with plenty of services available to everyone. However, like all sites, it can be manipulated to harm people, and if you are mindful of the dangers when embarking upon a Craigslist adventure, you’re far more likely to stay safe!