Actions knows a lot about you

Posted at 6:00 AM, Feb 20, 2017
and last updated 2017-02-20 07:38:16-05

A genealogy website called is prompting privacy concerns over the amount of personal information that's easily accessible to any online user.

"FamilyTreeNow does seem to take it to a bit of another level," said Dr. Kathleen Stansberry, a communications professor at Cleveland State University.

Unlike similar genealogy sites, it requires no log in or payment.

"There's always a danger when we make information available because not everyone is going to use that information for positive purposes," added Stansberry.

By inputting a first and last name, and the state that the person resides in, offers phone numbers, home addresses (past and present) and names and ages of relatives of that individual.

"You can find out quite a bit of information right away," she added.

The information is aggregated from public records, but its ease of availability in one central place can be unsettling.

Sites like and operate like, but they only offer partial information for free before a user is required to pay for more.

To protect yourself, Stansberry recommends opting of such sites. Each site has its own section to remove your personal information from being publicly displayed. She also suggested typing your name into online search engines like Google and seeing what pops up. Then, take control of what others can find.

"If you don't like what you see, take the steps to change that," said Stansberry.

News 5 requested an interview with, but we have not received a response.