How to Choose Anonymize on Craigslist

By Elizabeth Mott

Based in San Francisco, the Craigslist classifieds site serves the U.S. and other countries.
i Justin Sullivan/Getty Images News/Getty Images

When you post Craigslist classified ads seeking job applicants, or advertise a piece of used office equipment for sale, you can opt to receive replies directly via email or offer another means by which to reach you. If you prefer email, but don't want to give out your actual address or sign up for a throwaway email account, Craigslist offers an option that displays an anonymous Craigslist email address in your ad and forwards replies to you. Many Craigslist sellers use anonymization, which won't affect the number of people who respond to your ad.

Click on the "Post to Classifieds" link on the homepage for your local Craigslist community. Use the radio buttons to choose a posting category and, if necessary, a sub-category.

Enter your ad information into the required fields, then enter your email address and re-enter it to confirm it. Click on the "Anonymize" radio button to select a Craigslist reply address. You also can select the "hide" option to omit your email address entirely, but then you must supply an alternate form of contact information in the body of the ad. Click "Continue" to complete the wizard and submit your ad.

Check your email for a confirmation message from Craigslist. Respond to verify your real email address and confirm or edit your ad, which should post within 15 to 20 minutes. Craigslist forwards your ad responses from the anonymized address.


When you reply to responses to an anonymized Craigslist ad, your real email address appears in the "From" details of your response. If you're concerned about the impact on your privacy, sign up for a throwaway email address and use it when you post your ads.

The anonymized address lasts only as long as your posting remains active.

Craigslist email filtering clears out spam replies and protects your email address from being harvested by spammers.


Don't expect to use a Craigslist anonymized address to receive regular email messages. The address works only to receive replies to your posting.