I don’t think most people realize how vulnerable we are online. We access the internet every day, usually multiple times, entering personal information such as phone numbers and addresses, our place of occupation and hobbies such as updating a Facebook profile. One of the phenomenons that have come from the internet is the ability to advertise to the world quickly and efficiently. No longer do people have to buy the classifieds section of the printed newspaper to find jobs or place ads for extra help. Now with the invent of sites such as Craigslist, the people find you.
Craigslist is no doubt beneficial but I urge my readers to consider what and how you respond to inquires from this site and other like it. Don’t just answer an ad and give out all your information without considering if the position is actually legit. According to 11 Alive, a Dallas, Georgia woman was allegedly raped by a man who responded to a Craigslist ad claiming to need a bartender for a party he was trowing. 11 Alive reported that 37 year old Christopher Smith, answered the woman’s ad, picked her up to supposedly take her to the bar-tending job but instead took her to his home, allegedly raped her and then brought her back to her car and threatened her.
Now I’m not blaming the victim here but this situation could have been potentially avoided from the beginning if she DID NOT GET INTO A STRANGER’S CAR! That’s like the first life lesson we learn in life as children, don’t talk to strangers. While the internet is a wonderful convenience and easily accessible to most, it’s also a dangerous place that’s underestimated by many, like this Dallas, Georgia woman.
Let me give you a few tips on how to avoid the pitfalls of the internet.
- DO NOT MEET UP WITH STRANGERSONLINE, PERIOD. This includes answering ads, online dating or even meetig up to just “hang out”. It’s just too risky not knowing exactly who you’re meeting up with for sure. Remember, the internet is beautiful thing but people still use it for evil, and lying is often associated with meeting people online (read my “Catfish” article and you’ll see what I mean). However, if you choose to ignore the doctor’s advice, at least meet in a public, well-lit, open space with plenty of witnesses.
- Don’t give out unnecessary, personal information such as your home address and phone number, especially on sites like Craigslist. I would suggest strictly using an email address for contact purposes until you’ve weighed your options on the legitimacy of the contact. Also, for any online activity where you submit information, make sure the site is secured by a online security feature to help reduce the risk of information getting out.
- If it sounds fishy or suspect, stop right there! Move onto the next thing, do not pass go or collect 200 dollars! If you noticed something questionable or something that you’re leery of then trust your gut. Having a guy that you’ve never met come and pick you up for a job you’ve been hired for is very unprofessional first off, and questionable to say the least.
As for the unidentified Georgia woman, her alleged attacker has been charged with charged with rape “aggravated assault, aggravated sexual battery, aggravated sodomy, kidnapping, marijuana possession and battery” and is being held in a Paulding County Dentition Center without bond.
Have you ever experienced some sort of online entrapment? Did you get caught up or were you able to discern enough to get out of it?
Picture source: http://www.gurl.com/2012/07/15/meeting-someone-online/