Important note: Be careful where you click. Depending on the browser you use and which device you use, you may see slightly different things than what we've posted in the screenshots below. Both of these websites charge fees for you to access more records, but not to have yourself removed from these sites. Do not pay to have yourself removed from these sites. The opt-out service is free.
Have you ever wanted to trace or record your family's history? Discover your true origin? Maybe find out for sure whether you're really a descendant of Dutch royalty or if that's just something your mom said? Either way, retracing the roots of your family tree can be an eye-opening experience for both you and your loved ones.
You've probably seen enough TV commercials to know there are countless websites/services that allow you to access the history of your genealogical tree throughout the generations. However, having free access to this kind of data may be a double-edged sword. You'll be surprised by the mass of personal information that one of these sites offers for any and all to see.
We're talking about Family Tree Now, which is a site that lets you look up historical records free of charge. While listing some family/personal history is warranted, this website gets a bit too close for comfort. It reveals entirely too much information to the public -- more than you or anyone else would want.
Personal information publicly displayed on Family Tree Now
One thing you'll discover at first is how simple the website is to navigate. You begin by entering your first and last name, and the state in which your currently reside. From there, a list of matches will appear. Once you find the match that corresponds, the site surprisingly displays the following information:
- Your age, including the month and year that you were born
- A list of potential family members
- People you may be or once associated with
- Your current and past addresses
- Your current phone number and past numbers
What users find to be most eerie is that you don't even have to sign up or become a member to have your information listed on the site. It's already there for anyone to see, for free.
Along with your home address, the site is nice enough to provide a map to help any random user see exactly where you live and how to get there in a matter of seconds. Yeah...cue the suspense music, because this is getting downright creepy!
Obviously, this makes locating you a piece of cake for anyone. It's firmly suggested that you go to the site and opt out to have your information removed from the view of prying eyes. This service is free; do not pay to have yourself removed from this site.
One of our own here at Komando actually went through the steps to remove themselves from this app. They were stunned to find every address they lived at in the last 25+ years, plus their current phone number, along with every other number they've ever had.
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 of Family Tree Now
Family Tree Now makes the opt-out process fairly easy. Again, you may see something slightly different, depending on what browser and device you use.
Follow these steps:
- Click here to be directed to the Family Tree Now Opt Out page. Or, go to familytreenow.com/optout. Click the "Begin Opt-Out Procedure" button.
- You will be routed to a free search page. Run a search on yourself. If you've used multiple names or lived in multiple states, just pick one; the search will most likely find all of your known aliases.
- Once you've found yourself, click on the record details. Verify that this record is, in fact, you and not someone else with the same or similar name.
- Once you're certain that it's your record, click the red "Opt Out This Record" button (see screenshots below).
You should see a confirmation that you have been removed. Double-check, as there may be multiple records of you that need to be taken down, especially if you have used other names. If there are, repeat the opt-out procedure for each record you find.
Be aware, it can take up to 48 hours for your opt-out request to be processed (although our staffer said it worked for her immediately), and your record will be wiped from the system.
Bonus: Here's another site you need to check
Our same staffer discovered that more of their personal data was featured on another site, called TruthFinder. Similarly, this website possesses information that can lead random users down the path of your entire life from birth to current status and location, totally free of charge.
Like Family Tree Now, you can simply search a name (first and last), a city/state, and boom! Just like that, every date, every number, every contact and every place you've ever called home is visible to the whole world.
Click here to view TruthFinder's opt out procedure. It is easy to opt out. Do not pay to remove yourself from their site, or any website. These are free services.
Start by searching for your report and select the one you'd like to have erased. You will then receive an email confirmation, which will require your permission to remove the chosen record. Confirm. Done! Rinse and repeat if you find any other records you'd like erased.
Also, just like Family Tree Now, TruthFinder will remove records shortly after you make the opt-out request. You're welcome to guess how long shortly is. "Due to the number of ways we source our data, this may take up to 48 hours." Sound familiar?
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