Some Perils of Craigslist & How To Avoid Them

It’s true that you can find almost anything on Craigslist: musical instruments, used cars, computers, concert tickets, furniture, a ride, a date, and everything in-between. Unfortunately, it’s also true that you can stumble into big trouble if you’re not careful. Cyber-criminals often use Craigslist as a way of installing viruses and harvesting your personal data. Before you plunge into Craigslist’s community of deals, guarantee yourself some savings and protection with a Norton coupon code and the latest antivirus software.

Always keep in mind that you do not know who you are interacting with on Craigslist. In one reported attack, people were invited to open a link to see pictures of a car for sale. Upon clicking the link, a malicious website then installed a virus on the unsuspecting victim’s computer. It is therefore imperative that you protect both your identity and computer by proceeding with caution when opening attachments and links. Here are a few simple guidelines to help ensure your safety while using Craigslist:

  • Avoid sending personal information

  • Use an email account separate from your personal account

  • Do not open links or download attachments without verifying their safely first

  • Think. Use common sense.

The last tip is especially pertinent to Craigslist. For instance, if you are buying a computer, scan it for viruses prior to purchase. Provided you do use common sense, Craigslist is of course a great resource. However, in the larger world of the web, you also need to remain constantly vigilant and protect yourself. Here are some additional tips that are not specific to using Craigslist, but can help keep you safe wherever your browsing takes you:

  • Use antivirus software and keep it up-to-date.

  • Install system security patches.

  • Use a firewall.

  • Secure your browser.

  • Disable Javascript for all but the most essential of sites.

  • Avoid opening email attachments received unexpectedly.

  • Treat IM just as you would email.

  • Avoid P2P and distributed filesharing.

  • Be aware of recent Internet scams.  

By heading off problems before they harm your machine, you are doing yourself a huge favor. That’s why it’s so important to install antivirus software like Norton to protect yourself. If you’re diligent and on-guard, the Internet is a wonderful place to buy and sell. However, let that guard down and buyer – and seller – beware.

By: Peter

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