How can you tell if a survey site is trustworthy and reputable before you sign up? There’s certain information you should keep in mind when researching whether or not a survey panel is right for you. Before giving your information to a survey site, ask yourself the following questions:
Reputable survey sites want active and high quality participants, which means they often lay out some participation requirements. For example, our panel requires you to complete a survey at least once every 6 months in order to stay active in the community. It’s also important have some idea of what the surveys themselves will be like, both in terms of topic areas covered (e.g., product surveys, public opinion polling, a mix of different topics, etc.) and how you willl be completing them (online via desktop or mobile, paper, video, etc.). If the surveys don't seem like they will be interesting or the completion method doesn't align with your lifestyle and preferences, the site may not be the best fit for you.
Survey sites often offer you something in return for your responses and it’s important to be aware of what that is before you sign up. Rewards can come in many forms: points, cash, gift cards, coupons, products, insider information, etc. Although many survey sites operate in similar ways, what they offer can vary quite a bit. The site should clearly explain what you get for answering surveys – how much you can earn, how to redeem, what the reward options are (if any), and other relevant information.
When you have a question or a problem, do you know how to get help? The site should have an easily accessible “Contact” section with information on how to contact customer support. A support guide or FAQ page may also offer helpful information and details for how to get in touch with customer support, if needed.
If you can find active social media profiles (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc.) associated with the survey company, that’s a sign that they are actively involved in their survey community and want to interact with you. Pay special attention to member comments and reviews on their social media pages - good AND bad. How do they respond to bad reviews? You can tell a lot about a company based on how they handle negative feedback and respond to concerns.
Lastly, ask yourself, do you get an overall trustworthy feeling from the survey site? The website should have a professional look and be running smoothly (pages load quickly, links work, etc.). Another important tip is to look at the start of the web address in your browser's address bar when you’re on the survey site: it should start with “https”, not “http”. (The “s” means the site is configured to support secure communications and any information you share while using it will be encrypted.) Before you sign up, you can also look into the parent company that owns and operates the survey site to make sure it’s a legitimate organization. Parent company information can usually be found at the bottom of the web page or on an About page.
Overall, you should trust your gut. If something on the site seems questionable to you, don’t give up your personal information. Remember, better safe than sorry, and happy survey taking!
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