How to Stay Safe on Etsy - dummies

By Kate Gatski, Kate Shoup

No doubt about it, one of the highlights of Etsy is its thriving community of interesting, arty folk. But you may still find an occasional bad apple on the site. Take a few key steps to ensure your safety:

  • To make sure that no one accesses your account without your authorization, you must choose a strong password. Select one that meets all the following criteria:

    • It’s at least eight characters long.

    • It doesn’t contain your username or your real name.

    • It doesn’t contain a complete word.

    • It differs from passwords that you’ve used in the past.

    • It contains a mixture of uppercase letters, lowercase letters, numbers, symbols, and spaces.

    For an added layer of protection, change your password every so often — say, every 30 to 90 days.

  • Be on the lookout for scams. These often involve the use of money orders or cashier’s checks, along with an offer to pay significantly more than is necessary to expedite shipping or to cover some other weird request. If you do get taken on Etsy, contact your financial institution on the double. Then report the situation to Etsy. You may also opt to alert your local law enforcement.

  • Before you jump into a forum or team discussion, monitor it for a while. See whether the Etsians engaged in the discussion are people you really want to interact with. If a discussion goes south, simply disengage. Life’s stressful enough — why embroil yourself in a conflict on a site that’s supposed to be fun?

    And don’t share your digits or other personal deets, such as where you live or work, on Etsy’s forums or other public spaces. And if you decide to meet up with someone you’ve met on Etsy in person, pick a neutral, public place; let a friend or family member know about your plans; and be sure to bring a cellphone with you in case you need to call for help.