If you’ve ever wanted to get hold of some second-hand furniture or offload some of your old clothes, you’ll have probably come across Craigslist. It’s one of the most highly trafficked online classifieds websites in the whole world. In fact, it currently services over 50 countries and has millions of users in the United States alone.
But what many people don’t realize is that uploading pictures and sharing information on Craigslist can be dangerous – not to mention the perils of meeting up with someone to actually exchange goods! Fortunately, there’s an easy way to stay safe. Just use CoverMe to get a second phone number for Craigslist safety. We’ll show you how below.
What Is Craigslist, and How Does It Work?
Craigslist is an online platform where users can buy and sell second-hand items directly from one another by posting adverts. It’s kind of like the classifieds section in newspapers, just for online.
The service was founded back in 1995 and was named after its creator, Craig Newmark. It began in San Francisco as a way for people to sell items to their neighbors in the city, but it quickly expanded to other cities in the US and then over the ocean and into the rest of the world, earning its founder billions in commission fees.
Now, the service boasts more than 50 billion page views per month, and there are millions of transactions every week. Funnily enough, Craigslist still looks just like it did when it was first invented. It chooses a smooth and simple interface to allow users to focus on finding what they want. The trouble is that the service is also a breeding ground for criminal activity – whether that’s in the form of scammers, hackers, or thieves.
So how can you stay safe? Get a disposable phone number with CoverMe to protect your online identity.
Craigslist: The Good, the Bad, and the Unsafe
Craigslist is convenient. Everyone knows that. If you’re a buyer, it means you can find something locally and you don’t have to pay any shipping charges to go and pick it up. All you have to do is work out a time and date for the exchange with the seller. Another benefit of Craigslist is that you’re likely to find a great deal! Sometimes, people list stuff on Craigslist free of charge, simply because they don’t want the hassle of taking it to the dump.
However, there are some serious cons when it comes to Craigslist:
There’s absolutely no quality control, no returns method, and no way that Craigslist will step in to intervene on your behalf if you’ve been scammed. They make it very clear from the get-go that you are on your own: buyers beware!
Because there are no rules on how to behave, there’s no customer service. It’s very common for a seller to agree to sell something at a discounted price via email, but then turn around and sell it to someone else for full price if they get the opportunity.
Craigslist doesn’t post user stats or view counts, so it’s impossible to know exactly who is selling what and how many views it had been getting. This makes it frustrating when the seller turns out to be a shop that’s just using the website to sell their items at full price.
But the Biggest Downside to Craigslist is Security
As with all online interaction, it’s impossible to know exactly who you are talking to and whether or not the person selling the item is a scammer or a criminal who is out to take advantage of you. Shockingly, more than 101 murders have been linked to the use of Craigslist in the past.
These are extreme examples of how unsafe Craigslist is. But they underline a serious security flaw with the website.
Craigslist allows its users to operate in complete anonymity. They can pretend to be just about anyone and can lure people into meeting them under false pretenses. Unlike most other forms of social media, the website doesn’t require you to have a legitimate phone number to sign up or even to list your real name. So it’s really a gamble on who you’re going to meet.
How to Stay Safe on Craigslist
We all know you can put just about anything on Craigslist and it will probably sell for a small amount. That makes it a great resource for all of us looking to buy or sell unique items that you wouldn’t normally be able to get in a regular store. But remember to stay safe with these tips.
Meet Publicly. If you don’t know who you’re going to meet, you should never travel to a secluded or private location such as a person’s home. Always meet in a busy, crowded location out in the open. That way, passers-by will be able to assist you if you get into trouble.
Take a Friend. If you have to meet someone at their home, take a friend along with you. It’s far safer to have someone watch your back while you exchange goods and money than to go it alone.
Use a disposable number. Scamming is so common that it’s too risky to give out your real number to people who you are planning to meet with. Make sure you stay safe by getting a second phone number app like CoverMe, which can set you up with a temporary number for Craigslist. That’ll stop people from tracking you down or trying to contact you after a sale has been concluded.
How to Get a Disposable Number with CoverMe
The best way to remain safe online – whether it’s for Craigslist or any other website where you need to provide personal details or exchange messages – is to use a one-stop security app like CoverMe.
CoverMe is a free downloadable app that uses military-grade features like end-to-end encryption services to keep you anonymous while you are online. Within the app, you can quickly and easily create a whole host of different numbers that are fully operational, allowing you to communicate with strangers without sharing your personal details.
CoverMe also has a load of other great features. For example, it lets you create private groups with friends so you can share messages with them, send files, photos and videos, and even broadcast – all securely encrypted so no one else can get their hands on your personal details.
With CoverMe, you’ll also get:
- A personal vault to store all your files and messages.
- A decoy password to alert you if someone is trying to hack into your phone.
- Self-destructing messages so none of your data remains on another device.
- Message recall so you can un-send messages sent by mistake.
- Encrypted messaging so no one can intercept your data.
For the ultimate privacy and safety guard, choose CoverMe.