This Scary Website Makes it Easy for Predators to Stalk You and Your Family
Personal safety and the protection of your family's sensitive information is always a concern, especially in a digital age. That's why you should delete your personal information from this scary website ASAP.
At first glance, FamilyTreeNow.com seems to mean well. It's just trying to connect us with information of our family's past for free (or minimal cost), right? Wrong. Not only does it list your name, age, and year you were born, but also all the addresses you've lived at, right down to the apartment number and everything.
Freaky, right? Yea! This makes it so easy for your abusive ex to find out where you live or, as our cousin station pointed out, for child predators to find out where your kids live, figure out where they go to school, and pick them up after class posing as "Mommy and Daddy's friend." Believe me, none of us here at the radio station want to write a future blog post about your missing child, and I know you don't want to read that post and neither of us want this to happen in the first place.
There's a way to have your information removed from this website, and it doesn't require you to enter any more personal information than they already have access to. Go to FamilyTreeNow.com and do the following:
- Scroll down to the very bottom of the page and click "Privacy."
- Somewhere in the middle of the page, you'll see a blue hyperlink that says "opt out here." (Click that.)
- Check the "I'm not a robot" box to let them know you're a human being and then click the green button that says "Begin Opt Out Procedure."
- Fill out the information requested (name, city, state, birth year) and click the green "Search" button.
- Once you find yourself, click the green "View Details" button and then the red button that says "Opt Out This Record."
The website will also give you a list of "possible associates." Some family members popped up for me, but it could also be roommates that show up, which is what happens when I search for my sister. You could opt out for them or just let them know that they might want to opt out of the records on FamilyTreeNow.com, as well.
Unfortunately, it takes 48 hours for your opt out request to be processed. So if you go back soon after opting out, you might still see your information on this site.
Another website that's kind of creepy that I'd like to note is Pipl.com. Sometimes addresses pop up for individuals, and sometimes not. It does the same sort of thing as FamilyTreeNow.com, but also pulls together possible social media profiles (like that decade-old MySpace profile you forgot the password to). This website is a hit or miss - I've looked up people on that website before and sometimes no information comes up for them. Other times, phone numbers, addresses, and employers show up. So it may be worth looking into Pipl.com, as well, to see what information is being made public about yourself and your family.