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Safety Tips

It's important for individuals to always keep their personal safety in mind, regardless of the situation.  Of
course, some activities are riskier than others, particularly meeting strangers off the Internet.  For this
reason, it's important to consider the following safety measures when participating on The FreeUse
Network (TFN) message board.

(1) Do not give out personal information in any e-mails that you post to TFN's message board.  

When you post an e-mail to the local FreeUse group, it is sent out to all members of the list and archived
(saved) by Yahoo.  So, if you include your full name, home address, and/or phone number in any e-mails
you send to the list, this information becomes public.  

It's a good idea to just include your general location (for example, "Broadmoor Subdivision" or "near
Smallville") in your original post (preferably in the subject heading).  Only give out more detailed information
when someone contacts you about your post and you're arranging pickup with that single list member.  
Even then, only disclose as much information as is necessary, and nothing more.  Communicate via e-mail
whenever possible.

(2) If you're meeting with another list member, ask a friend to accompany you.  Remember the old saying
that there's safety in numbers!

(3) Consider rather than having a list member come to your home to pick up an item, arrange a meeting in
a neutral public place.  This way, you need not give out your home address.  Again, take a friend to the
meeting.  The meeting should ideally take place during the day, in a well-trafficked area.

(4) If a member is coming to your home to pick up an item, make sure that you're present.  Don't leave an
item unattended in your yard, on your porch, etc., and tell fellow list members to come and pick it up at any
time.  After all, if you're not home, you have no way of supervising what is taken.  Members may intentionally
or unintentionally take the wrong item or even cause damage.  

(5) If you feel uncomfortable with someone who responds to your post, by all means, don't arrange a
meeting with that person!  Ultimately, it's up to individual list members who they give their items to, and you
can refuse a person for any reason.  

If a fellow list member acts in an inappropriate manner, please contact the moderators - we're here to
help!  Harassment and threats ARE NOT tolerated on TFN, and all offenders will be banned from the list (at

[Feel free to forward to a group moderator, the arrangement information (e.g., screen name, yahoo ID, email
address, etc.) of the member with whom you are planning to make a transaction.  Make them aware that
you have done this.]

TFN does not assume responsibility for its list members' safety.  While we will remove members who act
inappropriately and have ZERO tolerance for this type of behavior, we do not screen potential members or
monitor individual members' transactions off-list.  Ultimately, individuals are responsible for taking the
proper precautions when meeting with fellow list members and giving/receiving items.  For more
information, please refer to our Terms of Service, of which participation on TFN constitutes an expressed
_find your local group_