Public website poses security threat to military community

Public website poses security threat to military community

by: Staff | .
Stripes Europe | .
published: January 31, 2017

Have you heard of Family Tree Now? It's a public website that shares personal information, including the full names, ages, birth dates, and current and past addresses of private individuals. The website also shares a list of possible family members and friends. While it is not illegal, the unrestricted availability of this sensitive information poses a potential security threat for servicemembers, DOD civilians and their families.

6 out of 6 of my colleagues were surprised and disturbed to discover eerily accurate information when investigating the data that had been collected by Family Tree Now. While it is not illegal, the unrestricted availability of this sensitive information poses a potential security threat for servicemembers, DOD civilians and their families.

Want your information removed from Family Tree Now? It’s possible. Here's how:

  1. Go to www.familytreenow.com/optout.
  2. Read the instructions and click the square to show you are "not a robot."
  3. When the green check mark appears next to "I'm not a robot," click to “begin opt-out procedure.”
  4. You will then be redirected to a search page. Enter the name and click "search."
  5. Results will populate based on matches for your name. View your information by clicking the record.
  6. Once you verify it is your record, click "opt out." The page will be refreshed with a message that reads: "Your opt out request is being processed. Please allow up to 48 hours for your record to be removed."

It is important to remain vigilant and protect your information while keeping a watch out for your family and friends.

Note: It's always a good idea to be suspicious of any website that requires you to input personal information, even to opt out of a website like Family Tree Now. If you are concerned about the steps required to have your data removed, verify the information with a trusted source.

Tags: Family Tree Now, security threat, public website, opt out, military families
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