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How to Protect Your Privacy While Entering Sweepstakes

Avoid Being Hassled by Junk Mail, Telemarketing Calls, & Spam Email

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Entering sweepstakes is an amazing hobby that could change your life overnight. The drawback, however, is that in order to enter, you need to give your personal information to the companies holding the sweepstakes. While most companies respect your privacy and do not contact you more than you ask them to, there are always some bad apples in the bunch. These simple steps will help you to protect your privacy while enjoying the chance of winning incredible sweepstakes.

1. Read the Privacy Policy Before Entering Sweepstakes

If you are entering a sweepstake or contest from an unfamiliar sponsor, read the company's privacy policy before submitting your information. The privacy policy should tell you how the information that is being collected will be used. If the company does not display a privacy policy or they do not clearly state how they will use your personal information, leave or proceed only with great caution.

2. Use a Separate Sweepstakes Email for Your Entries

When you enter sweepstakes, you can expect to get extra emails in your inbox. Sometimes, you'll enter sweepstakes that require you to receive a newsletter to win (but you'll decide the mails are worth it). Sometimes you'll receive entry confirmations, and sometimes you'll receive win notifications. And, in unfortunate circumstances, you can enter a sweepstakes that bombards you with spam mails. It's unfortunate, but it can happen.

Using a separate email for sweepstakes makes it easier to recognize win notifications without your regular email address getting overwhelmed with messages. Plus, if you do start receiving too many mails, you can simply open up a new free email address and stop using your old one.

3. Use Safe Sweepstakes Passwords

When you create passwords for sweepstakes entry, it's important to keep safety in mind. You don't want to use the same password to enter sweepstakes as you use for critical information like protecting your email address, banking information, or social media accounts.

How to Choose Sweepstakes Passwords is full of tips that will help you avoid making mistakes with your password.

4. Opt Out from Sweepstakes Mailings

Many sweepstakes give you the option to opt-in or opt-out of receiving mailings. Opting in allows the sponsors to send you newsletters, information about sales, and other such information (the sponsors should tell you what kinds of mail you'll receive if you opt-in). If you are interested in the information that the sweepstakes sponsor offers you, then by all means, opt-in. However, if you don't want to get more information, select the option to not receive more information. This will not affect your odds of winning.

5. Unsubscribe from Unwanted Sweepstakes Emails

Many people are afraid to unsubscribe from emails they don't want, because spammers are known for taking an unsubscribe request as proof that someone really reads that email address, and sending even more mails. However, if you are receiving a newsletter, promotions, or other contacts from legitimate companies, you can feel free to unsubscribe if you are not enjoying them. This helps you to keep your sweepstakes email free from unwanted mail and easier to check for win notices. So while you should probably leave the Microsoft Lottery "wins" and other scam emails alone, go ahead and unsubscribe from newsletters that don't interest you.

6. Consider Using a Forwarding Telephone Number

Whether they notify you ahead of time or not, some sweepstakes sponsors will contact you by telephone to try to tell you more about their products or services. This can quickly turn into a hassle. But you don't want to give an incorrect number, since many sponsors contact winners by phone.

Using a separate number to enter sweepstakes can help you manage these calls. You can use a telephone number that forwards directly to your own phone, but which allows you to easily block numbers that call you too frequently. As with sweepstakes emails, you can also change a forwarding number if you start receiving too many marketing calls. Plus, you'll know that any calls you receive are sweepstakes-related.

7. Reduce the Junk Mail You Receive

Another way that sponsors might contact you is by sending you fliers, brochures, and other sales information through the postal mail. There are some steps that you can take to reduce the amount of marketing information that you receive by mail. For example, you can ask to be removed from the company's mailing list, or even create a prohibitory order against the organization. For details, check out:

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