Everyone likes to get something for free. Even if it’s something small and unexpected, anything for free in what is otherwise an expensive world is a bonus. With the internet has come a movement in free information sharing, as well as a range of other stuff. Free online magazines are an example of this no-cost information sharing. While the physical world expects payment for items such as magazines, the internet has come to change the standard, where information sharing is free.
Having stated this, the internet has also come to question the true definition of the word free. While in a monetary sense, content is often “free”, personal details are often used as payment for this free stuff and free online magazines. These personal details are sometimes more valuable to companies than liquid money, as they can be used for follow up marketing, or even spam based mail for less ethical businesses.
For example, businesses often offer a free magazine subscription in return for a person’s name, address and email. This information is then used to obviously send the newsletter subscribed to, but also send additional marketing and promotional material. A small investment by a company into a magazine publication can be transformed into much more in derived sales.
Some free stuff and free online magazine subscriptions are however available without signing away an identity. The key to finding this material is to use basic due diligence before handing out anything personal. Due diligence relates to checking out a company, testing their authenticity, and reviewing what other users have said about them. Here are a few quick tips to help you along the way:
• Feedback is a very powerful tool when evaluating any vendor of free goods, however, is also open for corruption whereby companies can sometimes post positive feedback themselves. Be conscious of this, and don’t weigh your decision entirely on feedback alone.
• Free stuff and free online magazines are normally offered accompanied with a privacy disclosure statement. This document defines what your personal details will be used for. Where possible, and unless users would prefer to receive this marketing material, the option to opt out should be considered.
• Contact the vendor. If you have any concerns, the least a vendor can do is reply to you and address them. After all, they’re the ones who are in business, and like the saying goes, the customer is always right!
So arm yourself with your newfound due diligence tests, and dive into a search for free stuff and free online magazines. Enjoy the wealth of no-cost information at hand, but at the same time, beware of the true cost.