What is the enthusiastic sweepstaker to do in this day and age of identity theft when your personal information including your email is required to enter to win prizes? Even if you think you won't be targeted by identity thieves, there is still the issue of privacy and the annoyance of spam in your inbox. One thing you can do to stay safe and manage spam is to have an alternate email address that you use only for contests and sweeps.
One of the main reasons I personally wanted to have a separate email for sweepstaking is that I feel more comfortable using an alternate email to place on postcard entries. I really dislike having my email openly traveling around the country. Now, I give this alternate email address for mail-in sweepstakes entries of every typeónot just postcards.
Social networks like Facebook and Twitter are popular but also can leave you open to identity thieves and other online predators. It's also becoming the norm for companies to have Facebook-only giveaways and sweepstakes that I don't want to miss out on. I prefer not to give my regular email but an alternate one to sign up for social networking sites. That way I can take part in these sweeps and there is less risk of these sites sharing my personal email publicly for spammers to get hold of.
Google Gmail allows you to have several email addresses. Your internet service provider may also allow you more than one address. Other free email possibilities include Yahoo, Hotmail, and Juno. Be sure to make your username something that isn't easily identifiable. Avoid using any variation of your name as well as a nickname you've used many other places on the internet.
Along with a separate email, you can create an alternate phone number to give out on your sweepstakes entries. It's easy to connect this number to the secondary email account you create. It can be cumbersome at first to have to remember to check a secondary email daily, but doing this is a small price to pay for extra peace of mind knowing you have a buffer of safety in regards to your personal information. Learn more about creating a secondary phone number in my article, Google Voice Numbers for Sweepstakers.