We believe that trust is the foundation for creating a world where you can belong anywhere. As the Airbnb community continues to grow around the world, we are constantly working to help our hosts and guests make Airbnb experiences safe, memorable, and meaningful. We’re proud that we already offer a range of tools that help protect hosts and guests:

  • Our secure payment platform handles all financial transactions and doesn’t release a guest’s payment to the host until at least 24 hours after they check in.
  • We have dedicated 24 hour customer service to help the Airbnb community.
  • On Airbnb, you can use a number of tools to screen your guest or host before your stay. You can:
    • Look for guests or hosts with verified profile information (email address, phone number).
    • Connect your Facebook account to see if your guests or host has any connections through friends.
    • Look for Verified ID, which means that a guest or host has matched the name on their online ID to the name on an offline identification.
    • Look for guests with prior reviews or references from other Airbnb users.

Today, we’re announcing another step we’re taking to help build trust, fight scammers and protect your personal information: anonymized email addresses. If you’ve used other web platforms to buy products, you may have seen these before. Here’s how it works: when you have a reservation on Airbnb, instead of seeing your guest or host’s private email address, you’ll see an anonymized, temporary version (for example: john-abc123xyz@host.airbnb.com). You don’t have to take any action—you can still send and receive emails the way you normally would. Any emails sent to your temporary Airbnb address are forwarded to your private email address. We have more details on how this works in our Help Center.

We did this because some scammers like to get your personal email address and use it as part of their schemes. Anonymous email addresses will help us protect our community’s personal information from people who seek to abuse our system. Our existing security procedures help minimize the risk of these types of abuses, but we take your security seriously and we believe this new measure can do more to help fight fraud, scams, or phishing.

We also encourage all guests and hosts to use common sense when sharing information on the web and consider these tips for helping keep their accounts secure:

  • Make payments only through the Airbnb platform. Airbnb can only help safeguard your account and payment when all communication and related transactions occur within our platform. Airbnb will never ask a customer to pay for a reservation offsite.
  • Never enter your login credentials on an unsecured webpage. The beginning of the address should start with “https”. Depending on your browser, you may also see a lock icon.
  • Do not click any links, or download any attachments, from unverified sources.

We believe that anonymized emails will be an important step in helping us build a more trusted community. If a customer encounters a suspicious profile, listing, or message thread, we encourage them to flag it for review by our Trust and Safety Team. And our community can find more information about common scams or things to watch for in our Help Center.

And, as always, I want your feedback. If you have any general suggestions, questions or comments about Trust and Safety, please feel free to send me a note: phil@airbnb.com.