I would like to enter Facebook sweepstakes, but I'm hesitant to create an account because I want to protect my privacy. Is there a way to have a Facebook account and keep it from being seen by others?
Yes, you can enter Facebook sweepstakes without sacrificing your privacy. To enter sweepstakes, you only need to have a Facebook account, you don't need to make posts or have a large number of friends (though sometimes it helps to make friends with fellow sweepers, to get votes or extra entries by sharing the word about giveaways.)
Facebook also gives you a lot of options when it comes to limiting who can see different types of information that you post. For some easy tips on making your Facebook account more secure, see 10 Ways to Protect Your Privacy while Entering Facebook Sweepstakes.
When you're adjusting your privacy levels, you can pick from several different privacy levels. Click the link for information about what each level means for you.
Many sweepstakes run through Facebook applications, which give sponsors information to collect more than the information that you make public to everyone. When the sweepstakes is over, you should remove those applications to keep your privacy secure. See How to Remove and Restrict Facebook Applications for details on how to do it.
Finally, some sweepstakes give you additional entries for sharing posts about the sweepstakes on your Facebook wall. If you don't want your employers seeing that you enter sweepstakes, or you want to avoid annoying your friends who don't enter sweepstakes, see my article on the non-annoying way to post sweepstakes on your Facebook wall.