Thursday, February 4, 2010

Craigslist Scams and Spam

Wow. I finally created an account on last week so that I could sell some more stuff. You might think I am a little late to the online classifieds game - but I am not. In fact, before we moved, I used a free classifieds system from the state's largest news station. They had a slick online interface that, in my opinion, was much easier and nicer to work with than the Craigslist option.

Selling Online 2.0: Migrating from eBay to Amazon, craigslist, and Your Own E-Commerce WebsiteI am big proponent of getting rid of Stuff you do not need. I have used local FreeCycle  groups and the classifieds to get rid of lots of stuff and help pay down student loans and other debts. It has been great. 

I was quite displeased when I opened up my inbox this morning and found three spam messages from my one ad that I placed on Craigslist last week. Ugh! Who wants to look at more spam and phishing emails?

How can you reduce your exposure to the unwanted stuff that ends up in your inbox?  One approach that I have always found useful, yet others seem to think is complicated and unnecessary, is to use multiple email accounts.

I have simply taken the principle of not putting all your eggs in one basket to my email. I reserve one account for family and friends, one for business or where I receive electronic statements, and another that I use for dealing with strangers via online selling, or random other sign up and registrations online.

"But then you have to sign into three different accounts!"
  Well, not exactly. See, sometimes I only have a limited time to check my email and I would rather not wade through the numerous offers for Canadian pharmacy meds, the weekly office store ads, random large sums of money waiting for me in Nigeria, and so on just to see what how my family and friends are doing. It makes it simple. Because I have not used the email address to sign up for anything my chances of spam are a lot smaller because no one has sold my address or shared it with third party merchants. This makes for a family and friends account that is fairly clean because the standard filters can screen most of the automated stuff that everybody seems to get anyways.

The next time you are trying to simplify your life - take a radical approach and go for the complicated approach.

Do you have any life hacks, or things that you do to simplify your life that may be counter-intuitive at first glance?  If so, Please share in the comments.

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