You've probably never heard of FamilyTreeNow.com—but it likely has a shocking amount of your personal information posted for everyone on the Internet to see. The genealogy website is free to use and all you have to do is type in a person's name and up pops a list of home addresses, birth year, age, and links to family members which then lead to their personal information, as well.
Word of the site is spreading, with organizations like Enough is Enough, an online community advocating for the safety of law enforcement, posting warnings to members about how dangerous it is to have home addresses of officers—and everyone else—so easy to find.
The site appears to be pulling its information from public records, but it's unclear why a genealogy site would need to include a comprehensive list of information like home addresses without users' permission. Other sites which gather personal information from public records often require subscriptions or fees to access—but this one is totally free and extremely easy to use.
The good news is, you can opt out of the service.
1. Search for your name.
2. Scroll down to the bottom of the page and click, "Privacy."
3. About halfway down that page, click on the link to "Opt out here."
4. Then click on "Begin opt out procedure."
5. Type in your name again. Click on your listing again.
6. Hit the red "Opt out of this record" button.
You'll then come to a page telling you that it could take up to 48 hours to remove your listing. Now that news has spread, the site has received a flood of opt-out requests. On the site's "Contact Us" page, they advise users to go through the opt-out process listed above instead of emailing a complaint for faster removal.
So, if you don't want strangers knowing where you live, we recommend following those steps ASAP.
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