Online Safety, Privacy, and Other Important Information


Personal Information

When signing up for free offers, you will often need to give personal information such as your name and address. The company cannot send you the free items without an address to mail them to. Under NO circumstance should you ever give your social security number for any reason.

Although I do not collect personal information from my readers, it is possible that Blogger, Google Adsense, or one of the links you click on from my posts will. Technology such as cookies might be used by these third-parties to target their advertisements. I do not have control over this but want you to be aware of it.  Additionally, if I host a contest, I will need information from the winner to send the prize.

Signing Up for Freebie = More Spam?

Spam is email that you did not request and have no way of opting out from receiving.

While you might notice you are getting more emails after signing up for freebies and coupons, these emails are not actually spam. I highly recommend creating a free email address to use when signing up for deals instead of using your personal email address. Sites such as Gmail, Hotmail, or Yahoo are reliable free email sites.

When you sign up for a free offer, often times clicking submit gives the company permission to add you to their mailing list. Legally there will always be an opt-out option, but it is not always easy to find. Most of the free offers are free because the companies hope it will lead to future sales.

Some offers also require a phone number, but I recommend not giving your real phone number and avoid mobile phone numbers unless it is necessary because similar to how giving your email gives them permission to send you emails, you are giving them permission to call or text. I have a Google Voice number, however it is still in beta stages and not yet open to the public. If you have not already done so, register for the national Do Not Call Registry. You can register any phone number, including cell phones.

Printing Coupons

Most online coupon sites will require you to install special software to print coupons. This software claims to be free of spyware and adware, and does not collect any personal information about the user. I personally use this software and have never had an issue with my computer, but I have read reports from others with different opinions on the issue.  You will also notice that some coupon sites print small text around the border of the coupons which if look closely includes the IP address the coupon was printed from.

For more information on coupons see the Rules of Coupons post.

Virus Protection

So you’ve heard about viruses but have the “it won’t happen to me” complex? Protecting yourself is simple and can cost as little as no money. That’s right, there are perfectly good virus/spyware protection available for free.

I am not claiming to be an expert on this however I requested some information from my IT friend to provide you with options.  He recommends Microsoft Security Essentials which is provided free by Microsoft to all Windows’ users. You can schedule automatic updates and system scans with it to protect your computer. 

AVG is another brand of protection that provides free basic protection. 

A third option is to keep an eye out for sales and rebates at stores.  I have found year subscriptions to some virus protections for free after rebate.


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