Is it safe to give out your information so freely?

With all these free samples and coupons deals you may be leery about constantly giving out your contact information. Do you think it is risky to provide your name, mailing address, and email address to all these companies? I feel that if you are requesting samples and coupons form legitimate sites, ones that are from brands we know or other trusted companies that people recommended, that it is safe. Many of your addresses can be accessed anyway through search engines and the phone book. There is the risk of identity thieves if you provide your information to an illegitimate source, so you must be careful and use common sense.  I have been requesting samples for quite sometime and I have not had any problems and I have had very little “junk” mail at my address.

With that being said, never give out your social security number or credit card information unless you are positive the site is fully secure. Of course, there can be awful identify crises when people give out this sort of information. The tracking on computers has become so advanced that you need to be careful when giving personal information out because you never know where it can end up. I recommend that you set up a junk email address and use it when you sign up for freebies and such. You will gets tons of junk mail and spam at your email, so do not use your everyday one. It is free to make an email with many accounts, like Gmail and Yahoo, anyway.

Many free samples and coupons are also given away through Facebook. Many people are leery signing up for them through their Facebook account, especially when it says “This app/company/etc. wants access to your name/age/friends/etc.”, and to get the samples and coupons, you must press “allow”. In this case, only allow it if you have a strong privacy setting set on your Facebook account. Again, if it is an legitimate site you shouldn’t have to worry about any thieves or spam, but just be warned. Also, when signing up for things, always fill out as little information you need to. If your phone number isn’t required, don’t put it.

All this new media is making it too easy for people to put all their information, including addresses, names, and pictures, out for anyone to see and use. In the end, just be careful where you put your information and who you are giving it to. I think this new media is great for many reasons, especially for all these freebies and coupons, but just use your best judgement when signing up for things.