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Craigslist: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly Part 2

Craigslist: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly | Part I | Part II | Part III |

Remember in part one, we talked about how Craigslist has become one of the greatest online tools for job seekers, buyers, sellers, online daters, and anyone wishing to express their opinion about local issues. Now lets explore…

The Bad

Craigslist’s reputation is very mixed. Even though they offer sufficient warnings against illegal activity on the site, there are no specific regulations to control such actions beyond the safety suggestions mentioned in the next section. While many people have truly benefited from utilizing Craigslist’s services, there have been a plethora of related crimes reported in the news.

Here are some of the things you might want to be aware of before using, or allowing your children to use, Craigslist:

  • Anyone Has Access

There are no user names required to respond to any post on Craigslist. However, to place a post, you do have to provide a valid email address and be able to confirm it before being able to accept the site’s terms and conditions and create a password. No other personal information is required to place a post on the site. Anyone, young or old, male or female, sane or slightly insane, has access to post.

  • No Response Control

If you do decide to post on Craigslist, be aware that you can’t control the kind of responses you receive. While most responses will be legitimate, you may have some pranks or explicit responses mixed in. Just be aware that your postings can be read by anyone from anywhere. Therefore, you may not always receive the responses that you are expecting.

  • False Information

There is no way to monitor if a post contains falsified information. The only way to really know is by contacting the user, preferably in person, in a public place, and accompanied by someone else. If an offer seems too good to be true, it probably is.

  • Scams

Scams are a huge problem on Craigslist. There are several specifically known scams that you can read warnings about on their site. While not all scam posts may be deleted, you can learn to recognize when something is legitimate or a fake. If anyone asks for personal information, such as social security number, phone numbers, or address, this is most likely a scam. You can find tips for avoiding scams in the next section of this article.

  • Explicit Content

Many posts, particularly those in the personal ads and discussions, contain explicit content or inappropriate language. While many of these posts will be deleted according to the speed at which people flag anything that is inappropriate, there is still the chance that a child who is browsing the site will come across such material prior to its removal.

  • Murders/Law Suits

Unfortunately, there have been several cases of murder, theft and other crimes that have occurred as a direct result of relationships formed through Craigslist. Even such horrifying things as the “Craigslist Killer” have been spotlighted on the news.

When you accept the terms and conditions of the site, you release Craigslist from all responsibility for such occurrences. Therefore, it’s up to you to be smart about the interactions you choose to make. In more than one of these cases, children were involved in the crimes. Most of these crimes can be traced to users not being smart about sharing personal information.

About the Author
Natalie Clive is a writer for My Colleges and Careers helps people determine if an online education is right for them and helps them search for online degrees that can help them reach their goals.

We would like to thank our guest writers on the Online Security Authority Blog! We feel it’s a honor and pleasure, to have others participate and contribute to the great content, advice and opinions on and in this Online World, we all live in… help us, help them, by supporting and visiting their sites!

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