I am an amateur genealogist, and as such, I’m used to using sites to try to find missing relatives and other connections. With that said, there is one site out there that calls itself a genealogy site, but it is basically a stalker enabler of the highest order: FamilyTreeNow.com. Try searching your name on there, go on … I’ll wait.
How do you like seeing every name that’s ever been associated with yours put on the web for all to see?
How do you like seeing everyone who has ever lived with you, anyone who has ever used your address for any reason, and many of their relatives being listed as a clickable information source?
How do you like having a list of “possible associates” divulged for everyone to peruse?
But most of all, how do you like having every address you’ve lived at for the past 20 years printed on the internet? Fun, huh? Never mind the fact that past addresses are often used for identity verification, how do you like having your current address listed in all its glory — ready to be used anyone who might like to come by and say “hi”.
Whether or not you’ve ever had a stalker, it’s still a bit disconcerting to see personal information listed on the web for free. Sure, there are sites out there that will give the same information for a fee, but this site doesn’t even put up a feeble barrier that the merely curious might not be willing to climb.
What can you do about it? Read the privacy statement at FamilyTreeNow.com here to see exactly what you’re dealing with. Then OPT OUT. Do it now.
The good news is that FamilyTreeNow.com is fairly quick about removing your information; it took about 2 hours, but finally mine was gone.
To find out more about this site and what it means for your privacy, read this Washington Post article here. After you’ve removed your information from the site, be a good friend and share the word with everyone you know who might care about their privacy, too.