It's against our Terms of Service (TOS) to share your contact information or to ask others to share theirs before a contract starts. That includes a phone number, user ID for communication tools (like Skype, Slack, or WeChat), email address, home or work address, and less direct sources, like:
- Sharing or filling in a form asking for contact information
- Linking to an applicant management system or another way of submitting a proposal or application outside of Upwork
- Sharing or asking for any social media handles
When we say 'before a contract starts', we mean before the start date on the contract or the date you accept the contract (if that's sooner). So, for instance, you shouldn't share contact information in your job post, proposal, or during an interview.
There are three exceptions to this rule:
- If you, or your client, is on an Enterprise plan, you're free to ask for and share contact information before a contract starts.
- If you need contact information for specific legal reasons. For instance:
- A non-disclosure agreement
- A business license
- Identifying information to confirm the right to do business with local authorities
- Background checks
- If you need to share an email address to get access to systems so you can scope a project. Examples would be:
- Github/Bitbucket/Gitlab or other code repositories
- Google/Facebook or other ad analytics programs
- Quickbooks or other bookkeeping/accounting programs
- Cloud drive folders
- Online e-signature programs
- Website host or builders
It's important to remember that even it's OK to ask for contact information, you'll still need to keep all your communication on Upwork until the contract starts. If someone asks for your contact information for one of the reasons above, but then uses it to communicate with you about the job or payment, they'd be breaking our rules.
What happens if you break the rules?
Depending on what's happened, we'll take action on your account. Neither of us wants that, so it's always best to play by the rules.
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes, just be careful who you're sharing them with to avoid spam or any harassment.
Yes. Just be sure to ask the client to only contact you through Upwork until the contract starts.
Yes. Just remind the freelancer to only contact you through Upwork until the contract starts.
Yes, even if it includes contact information. You can share it in three ways:
- In your profile
- In the Upwork Message Center
- In a proposal
Just remind the client that they shouldn't contact you outside of Upwork.