Finding out your family's history can be a fun project that you share with your loved ones. You never know what surprises are going to show up on the genealogical tree.
There are many websites that allow you to explore relationships between people over several generations. However, you're not going to believe the myriad of personal details and information that one of these sites lets anyone in the world see.
Family Tree Now is a new free site that lets you look up historical records. Shockingly, the site gives away much more information to the public than you would want.
You really have to see this to believe it!
Personal information publicly displayed on Family Tree Now
The site is easy to navigate. Just enter your first and last name, and the state in which you live and a list of matches will appear. Once you find the correct match, the site surprisingly displays this information:
- Your age, including the month and year that you were born
- A listing of potential relatives
- People you may be associated with
- Your current and past addresses
The most disturbing fact is that you don't even have to sign up to have your information listed on the site. It's already there, for anyone to see for free.
Your home address is listed along with a map and anyone can find out as well as see where you live in a matter of seconds. Scary!
Obviously, this makes it far too easy for a stalker to find you. You really need to go to the site and opt out to have your information taken down.
In addition, you need to tell your family and friends to do the same.
NOTE: Before you go and see what they have on you, read the section below. This way when you see your personal details, you know how to opt-out.
How to opt out
The good news is, opting out is a pretty simple procedure. Follow these steps:
1. Click here - This will direct you to the Family Tree Now Opt Out page. Once there, click the "Begin Opt Out Procedure" button. This is an important link!
2. After clicking on the Begin Opt Out Procedure button, you will be taken to a search page. Run a search for yourself.
3. Click on the record detail. Verify that this record is you and not someone else with the same name.
4. When you are positive that it's your record, click the red "Opt Out" button (see screenshot below).
If you are listed more than once, pay attention. Double check your search, as there may be multiple records of you that need to be taken down. If there are, repeat the opt-out procedure for each record.
It takes up to 48 hours for your opt-out request to be processed and then your record will be removed. Well, that's what the site promises (see screenshot below).
Also, make sure that you use the link to the opt-out page that we uncovered for you above to have your records removed. Your request will take longer if you try sending Family Tree Now a message through its Contact Us page.
There is a warning on the Contact Us page stating, "Due to high volume, opt out requests submitted here will be severely delayed!!!"
Keeping your personal information private is very serious. I recommend that you follow the opt-out procedure ASAP!