A Bunch of Your Personal Information Could Be Listed on This Public Genealogy Site, But You Can Remove It
A website that claims that it's just here to help you figure out your ancestry is causing some concerns after many people have found that it makes your personal information pretty easy to find.
I first came across mention of this site after a friend of mine posted about it, and pointed out that the Wethersfield, Conn. Police Department had warned the residents of the town about using the site.
The site is FamilyTreeNow.com, and just by typing in your name you can find all of the information that they have on file for you. It's a lot. When I searched for myself, I found that it listed my entire family as "possible relatives" and listed six different addresses that I've lived at at some point in my life.
Police say that criminals can use that information to victimize you.
While most other websites will charge users to get specific information about a person (like their address), Family Tree Now just throws them out there. The good news? Their information may not be up to date (they had my current address listed as a place that I haven't lived in nearly ten years.)
Identity thieves can use the information listed to do all sorts of things, Wethersfield, Conn. Police Chief James Cetran told FOX61. He told the news channel,
The more information that a criminal has that [they] can get from public information, the more chances you have of actually being a victim of identity theft.
The good news is that you CAN (and should?) opt yourself out. In fact, you can opt out pretty much anyone So, if you see an elderly family member's name on there, and don't think they can or will opt themselves out, it may be a good idea to do so for them.
To opt out Family Tree Now and remove your personal records click here.