El Pasoans Need to Remove Their Personal Info from This Genealogy Website Now
Think you've done everything to protect your identity on the internet? Enter your name in this website and check out what pops up.
Yup, that's your personal information there for all to see.
The relatively unknown website is Family Tree Now, which bills itself as a free genealogy resource for those who wish to research their family tree -- much like Ancestry.com.
Like other sites out there that collect and mine data on the internet, Family Tree Now uses birth records, marriage and divorce records, military records, and other public records to aggregate information.
But unlike the others, the information is 100% free, and easily available for anyone to access. That's the part that has a lot of people freaking out.
While there's no denying the ease of access and quantity of information available could help someone trace and discover their roots, it could also conceivably make it very easy for someone who might want to harass or harm to find their mark.
The information they had on me, for example, was fairly accurate.
Not only did it list my current home address, it listed addresses I've lived at going back a couple of decades. My age and birth month was correct, as was names and ages of all of my family members. It even listed several "associated names" that turned out to be misspellings of my name that a handful of institutions committed over the years.
So, yes, Family Tree Now is a scary website.
Luckily, you can request that access to your records by removed. Take a few minutes to do so, then share this page with everyone you know and care about so they can do the same.
Here’s how to Opt Out of Family Tree Now:
1. Go to their Opt Out of Records page.
2. Read Steps 1-4
3. Check the "I’m not a robot box" and click the Begin Opt Out Procedure button
4. Re-enter your information and click Search button
5. Click green View Details button
6. Click red button that says Opt Out This Record
7. A page reading “Your optout request is being processed. Please allow up to 48 hours for your record to be removed” will pop up.
All done. Now share this page with everyone you know and care about!