Time Wasters & Junk Mail Creators

I’m sure some people enjoy earning “… points” or “… bucks” for playing games, taking surveys, watching videos, or surfing the web, but I find these programs to be time wasters. I joined SwagBucks this weekend to see if I could get a few extra dollars, gift cards or discounts.

I spent two days downloading toolbars, watching how to videos, and taking surveys. Most surveys tease you into participating by flashing a reward of 20 blah blahs for 15 minutes of your time. I usually got disqualified after investing 10 minutes answering questions. I just couldn’t stop myself taking more surveys because a big prize was in store. They just need me to reenter my info to know where to send it. How gullible was I? I hate to admit it but I was very gullible. My husband is gloating over his “I told you so” victory.

I spent another two days trying to deactivate, cancel and unsubscribe to every online marketing trap I fell into. I’ve spent most of the day trying to uninstall the SB tool bar from my browsers. I’ve removed it from the appropriate places in managing my add-on and extensions from my tools, to disabling SB’s browser add on in my computer’s control panel, & removing the unwanted plugins on both Firefox and Internet Explorer. If you understand what I just said, that’s great, ’cause I don’t. ; ) I may have malware now…yippee!

It’s still too soon to see how much more junk mail I’ll be getting. I’ll probably start receiving it at my house in a week. I’ve already unsubscribed to about 50 email sources in the past 24 hours. And it still may take up to a week to be deleted from the mailing lists that I’m aware of. No telling how many third parties have my mailing address and home phone number. I don’t even share that information with my friends on social networking sites! Ughh.

Anyway, enough of my whining. Instead I need to be asking how am I going to control the damage from this in a green way?

First, I’m going to continue unsubscribing and removing my information from the sources I came in contact with through my moment of insanity.

Next, I’m going online to the Federal Trade Commission at http://www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/0262-stopping-unsolicited-mail-phone-calls-and-email to research opt out and do not call programs. Hopefully, participating in these will help cut down on junk mail and identity theft risks.

Thirdly, I’m going to shred and either recycle or compost all junk mail I receive. By the way, I’ve learned that shredded paper (free of toxic dyes and inks) are great for the compost pile!

Lastly, when I’m done posting this, I’m going to turn my computer off for the night and go watch TV or read a book.

I guess I’ll let the hubby take a crack at cleaning up my computer.

Feel free to share with me here some of your experiences with rewards programs, whether good or bad. Thanks for listening to my rant!

January 10, 2013 Update: No malware found. Thanks to my hubby he found a few other places on my computer to remove the SB clutter. So happy to have the Google browser back!

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