RENO, Nev. (KRNV & MyNews4.com) -- Dangerous things can happen when online strangers meet in person. News 4's Ashley Cullins shows us how experts say you can protect yourself.
From Craigslist to Facebook, and every site in between, cyber crime experts say choices you make online can affect you and your safety in the real world.
Washoe County Cyber Crime Sergeant Dennis Carry says they've seen everything from digital fraud to real-life burglary, and worse. "There is no site on the internet that is completely safe," said Carry. "The anonymization that the internet provides just creates that much more of a risk and there's really nothing you can do other than just trying to be smart."
So if you have to meet someone from a site like Craigslist in person, Carry says:
- Meet in a public place, never at home
- Tell someone where you're going
- Bring someone with you
- Try to get identifying information, like a phone number, from the person you're meeting
- Limit the personal information you give
"If you provide your phone number and you provide your personal email information, you provide your Facebook account," said Carry. "Then it goes with all the other things we tell people not to do cause you can be stalked, cyber stalked, people can commit some sort of harm against you."
Carry says sites like craigslist are not all bad. "The reality is the bad things are probably such a small percentage of any of the ads that are posted."
But if you see something suspicious, Carry says do not hesitate to report it. If you flag an ad, Craigslist will report it to law enforcement, if it's potentially dangerous.
"Just be careful. Be safe. Just understand that you never know who that is on the other end."
For more information about personal safety online, Craigslist recommends these resources: