Making a quick buck off online surveys is easy, but are online surveys for money safe?
Online surveys often ask for personal information.
Your email account. Home address. Employer. All shared with a company you’ll never see, with people you’ll never meet.
In return for a small reward, you may be trading more than just your time.
Not sure if it’s safe to take online surveys for money? Want to do online surveys safely? Read on to find out.
So, are online surveys for money safe?
The short answer is this: Not every online survey is safe.
In fact, online survey scams are becoming more and more common.
By collecting personal information from unsuspecting victims, scammers can easily pull off identity theft scams. In the US alone, almost 3.2 million identity theft and fraud reports were received in just 2019.
Fake online surveys can even sell your information to telemarketers, spam callers and – worse – scam artists of every stripe.
This year, that number’s getting a lot higher.
But more importantly, almost any online survey puts your privacy at risk.
That’s because even legitimate online surveys collect personal information These surveys are often used by companies to directly reach out to their customers.
Companies have a vested interest in knowing more about who their customers are, what they do, why they do what they do. And they can know all of this when you, their customer, completes an online survey.
Is trading your safety and privacy for $1 to $2 an hour on online surveys really worth it?
5 tips for staying safe with online surveys
As privacy advocates, we highly discourage you from participating in any survey that:
- asks for your personal information
- does not explicitly disclose their privacy terms and conditions
If you still want to do online surveys for money, here’s what you should do.
Tip 1: Avoid paying for online surveys
You’re looking to earn money doing online surveys, not paying to do them anyway.
But the real danger with paying for online surveys is that you may be exposing your financial information to people who should not have access to it.
Tip 2: Use a fake email address and phone number
Got a survey asking you for your contact information? Avoid providing your actual email address or phone number and use fake ones instead.
Regardless of whether an online survey is fake or not, information you share on the survey will be shared with someone.
At worse, your contact details will be sold to unscrupulous scammers and spam callers.
At best, you’ll be hounded by telemarketers who bought your contact details from the survey organisers.
To get a fake email address, simply create another account with an email provider like Gmail or Outlook.
If you’re looking for a fake phone number, our Phoner second phone number app can get you started with zero fuss.
Tip 3: Verify the online survey’s details
Legitimate online surveys conducted by professional market research firms typically provide a brief that tells you:
- What the online survey is about
- How long the online survey is
- What incentive you’ll receive for completing it
For further assurance, also keep a lookout for any logos of marketing association memberships on the websites of these survey companies.
These memberships are only extended to companies that have met a certain industry standard.
Also, take note if an online survey asks you to install some sort of software. These software track your web browsing habits and remotely send information to the survey company.
- How the company intends to use your data
- How the company protects your data
- Who gets to access your data
Tip 5: If they say they’re not a scam, they probably are scams
A peculiar trait of fake online surveys is how they repeatedly tell visitors that they’re scam-free and trustworthy.
This constant reiteration that they’re not scams should already set off alarm bells. No legitimate online survey needs to tell people that they’re not scams in the first place.
If you see an online survey company marketing themselves as “scam-free”, “100% no scam” or “completely trustworthy”, it’s best to stay away.
How safe online surveys for money are depends on you
Online surveys are great for making an occasional quick buck. But it pays to be aware of the risks they pose to your safety and privacy.
Ultimately, taking online surveys for money is only safe if you take the right steps. With our 5 tips, you can better protect your online privacy.
Are online surveys for money safe? Not all of them, but you can still have a safe experience with the right measures. Start earning money by taking online surveys safely today!