Dangers of Online Selling: Sellers Being Stalked on Instagram
Posted by Big Brand Wholesale.com on 19th Nov 2021
We offer a ton of educational content for online sellers on our blog however if you asked me what content we post that is most important, I would absolutely tell you to read ALL of our Dangers of Online Selling posts because online selling can literally be a matter of life and death. You see, IRL (in real life) there are dangers but your dangers are limited to where you physically are however when your career is selling online you are opening yourself up to the entire world, and even though you work from behind a computer screen you still communicate with the world which means you can be in constant danger if you make tiny mistakes, such as the one we are going to discuss in this post.
PoshJewel719, who we will refer to as “PJ” is an online seller who specializes in Poshmark. Like most online sellers, PJ wanted to market her Poshmark store so she created an instagram account. Like everybody does, when an Instagram account is created, you have to provide your phone number, so PJ provided her phone number then “confirmed” the account and began marketing.
Fast forward to 2021: PJ is now discoverable by ANYONE who has access to that phone number, and, even if PJ chooses to switch her account to “Private”, her Instagram profile and company name are still discoverable by anyone who has the phone number, AND because of this, a stalker was able to quickly locate PJ, view her business name, Poshmark listings and location. Now PJ lives in total fear. The stalker can now easily place a purchase through PJs Poshmark and get her address, email and more. The stalker can now create bogus Poshmark profiles to continue unwanted dialogue with PJ. Something that started off as a simple idea to market has turned into sleepless nights and living in terror.
HOW TO PREVENT THIS
1. Never, ever, EVER use your personal phone number for your online business. This includes account confirmation. You can get a totally free phone number through Google or other apps. Keep your “real” phone number for friends and family. Use your “business phone number” for everything and anything related to your online business. No exceptions.
2. Never, ever use your personal email address when making business accounts. Your personal email can be used to lookup your business accounts in the same way a phone number can be used.
3. Unless you have a physical location (boutique, warehouse, flea market space, etc), get a PO Box. Never use your home address to ship.
4. If you work from home and also have a LinkedIn, consider changing your LinkedIn to be your business only, or yourself only, but remove the business name. Basically, you don't want someone who knows your name is Mary Smith and you live in Omaha to be able to find out your Poshmark store is called MarySmithsPoshyPosh, then use that info to get your home address.
5. Read every single post in our Dangers of Online Selling series because each post teaches you a new way to prevent problems and protect yourself. ALSO be sure to read Mailing Label Mistakes Online Sellers Make.
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