The website shares your personal information

AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) — We accept that anyone, anyone can find us on Facebook. Strangers can see anything you post publicly, even if they’re not on Facebook.

Other websites have collected even more information than you provided to Facebook, and they share it publicly for free without your permission.

At first glance, you might think it’s illegal, but it’s not. Genealogy websites publicly publish millions (perhaps billions) of names, addresses, and names of family members.

One free tool is the www.familytreenow.com website which publishes more of your personal information than you would ever want your closest Facebook friends to see.

You will be shocked at what you can find. By entering a first and last name along with the city where they live, FamilyTreeNow will search public records to return the most likely person you are looking for.

Once you see their name on the list (it also shows their year of birth), you can click on their records to find anything about them that’s available in public records. Cell phone numbers, landline numbers, email addresses, physical addresses, names of family members, names of people who may be associated with them, etc.

The information can go back decades.

Under Related Persons, you may see a former spouse or the name of your current spouse’s former spouse. If you click on a name, you are redirected to the information in the public records database.

The site is frequently updated and the cell phone numbers indicate that they have been updated within the last two months. If you want to spend $30, you can get even more information, such as tax lien records, tickets, and arrests. The website is set up, he says, like a genealogy database. But it can certainly be used by stalkers and scammers.

There is nothing illegal either. Information is collected from public records. You can ask the company to cleanse your information by unsubscribing. If deleted, it seems to reappear at some point. Even if you don’t share too much on social media, the internet does it for you.