How to Enter Sweepstakes Without Getting Spammed

Junk Mail and Spam? Just Say No! Here's How to Guard Your Privacy

Entering sweepstakes is an amazing hobby that gives you the opportunity to have a lot of fun while winning fun and unforgettable prizes. 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, there are always some bad apples in any bunch. These simple steps will help you to guard your privacy while enjoying the sweepstakes hobby.

Read the Privacy Policy Before Entering Sweepstakes

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Find Out How Your Personal Information Will Be Used Before Entering Sweepstakes. Courtney Keating / Getty Images

If you are entering sweepstakes or contests from an unfamiliar sponsor, read the company's privacy policy before submitting your information. A good 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. Also, be sure that the privacy policy doesn't specifically say that your information will be broadly disseminated or you could still be vulnerable to spam.

Use a Dedicated Email Address for Your Sweepstakes Entries

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Having More than One Email Address Can Protect Your Privacy. bubaone / Getty Images

hen you enter sweepstakes, you can expect to get extra emails in your inbox. Sometimes, you'll enter sweepstakes that require you to receive newsletters for your entry to go through (but you decided the chance to win was worth it). Sometimes you'll receive entry confirmations, and other times you'll receive win notifications. And, every now and then, you might enter sweepstakes that bombard you with spam. It's unfortunate, but it can happen.

Using a dedicated 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 emails, you can simply open up a new free email address and stop using your old one. More

Use Safe Sweepstakes Passwords

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Use a Strong Password to Guard Your Personal Information. Colin Anderson / Getty Images

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. You also don't want to use the same password for every giveaway you enter. If hackers should get ahold of your password, you don't want it to unlock other accounts across the internet.

You can use a password manager like Roboform or Autofill to generate and store your passwords. This makes sure you have strong passwords without having to remember everything yourself.

Opt Out from Sweepstakes Mailings

Young businesswoman at office desk with pile of spam envelopes
Get Less Spam When You Enter Sweepstakes. Tim Robberts / Getty Images

Many sweepstakes give you the option to opt-in or opt-out of receiving mailings. Opting in allows the sponsors to send you newsletters, coupons, 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 More

Unsubscribe from Unwanted Sweepstakes Emails

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Getting Too Many Newsletters? Just Unsubscribe. Vertigo3d / Getty Images

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, which can lead to even more emails.

However, if the emails come 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 makes it 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. More

Consider Using a Forwarding Telephone Number

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Using a Forwarding Number Can Protect Your Privacy. Daniel Grizelj / Getty Images

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 use an incorrect phone number, since many sponsors contact winners by phone.

Entering sweepstakes without using your home phone number 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.

By the way, it's a good idea to make sure that you are on the national do not call registry. Companies must abide by the rules of the do not call list, even if you enter their sweepstakes. More

Reduce the Junk Mail You Receive

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Is your inbox too full? Here's how to unsubscribe safely. Image (c) Pixhook / E+ / Getty Images

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

Guard Your Information So That You Can Enjoy Your Sweepstakes Entries

Taking these simple steps to guard your privacy will let you win prizes without feeling overwhelmed or harassed by the sweepstakes' sponsors, giving you the freedom to enjoy your hobby worry-free.