My second privacy post in a week. 2017 is a brave new world.
Several friends recently shared a post on social media shining a light on the website wwww.familytreenow.com. The promise of the site is interesting - research your genealogy and produce a family tree. Sounds great, but what the website actually delivers is far more disconcerting.
I visited and entered my first and last name. 23 records popped up, and I quickly found myself - the right age and the right city. I clicked the link, and the results included the names and ages of every one of my immediate and extended relatives, including my in-laws' extended family. The results also included every one of my addresses, dating back to law school in the mid-1990s.
With past addresses and mother's maiden names at the heart of account verification, this website is a treasure trove of compromising information. It also opens you and yours to all sorts of unwanted attention.
And it's not just me and my somewhat unusual name. I tried a half-dozen friends, and I found out all sorts of things about them and their own pasts.
My recommendation -- OPT OUT, immediately.
Here's how to do it.
- Visit www.familytreenow.com/optout. Certify that you are not a robot and click the green "Opt Out Procedure" button.
- Enter your information and view the details of your record.
- Click the red "Opt Out This Record" button above your name
I did it, and 30 minutes later my record was no longer available. Hackers and scammers are after every one of us and our information. Don't make it easy for them to get to you.