Genealogy programs - do you think they are safe (as far as hacking)?

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Genealogy programs - do you think they are safe (as far as hacking)?

Post by citygal on Fri Dec 21, 2012 2:09 pm

My husband is using an online genealogy program to put together his family history. He wants to include me, but I am not sure I feel safe with this. It's like Facebook or other social media because it's a search engine and thus can be accessed by anyone (bad people/hackers/thieves as well as good people). You can, of course, adjust the security settings to control who sees it, and I have asked him not to let my info be seen publicly at all. As we all know from caveats about using Facebook, all a thief needs to find your social security number is your birth name/date/city. Also, on genealogy programs you are giving your mother's maiden name and other similar information which could reveal password clues for your banking and financial accounts.

All in all, it makes me very nervous to have anything whatsoever about myself. I've told him he can put my name and year of birth but that is all. This is similar to how I feel about Facebook, which is why, although I have a FB page (just to be able to access the site), I put nothing on it but name and gender, not even a photo.

So, does anyone have an opinion about the security of genealogy programs? Thanks for any comments you can share.
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citygal

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Re: Genealogy programs - do you think they are safe (as far as hacking)?

Post by Buckwheat on Fri Dec 21, 2012 2:20 pm

citygal wrote: So, does anyone have an opinion about the security of genealogy programs? Thanks for any comments you can share.

Well I have been on ancestry since 2009... and never had a problem. We are not particularly secure about it.

Frankly most financial things that I have now require me to answer three questions... just one may be my mom's name. I think it is safe.

My brother is insane about it... he loves it. Me, boring.
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Re: Genealogy programs - do you think they are safe (as far as hacking)?

Post by citygal on Sat Dec 22, 2012 5:29 pm

Update to add that since my original post I have gotten some additional opinions from tech type people. One said it could depend on whether it's a free program or store-bought or paid or subscription program. The free ones may not have as good security in place or be a secured (the little lock icon) website. The one DH is using was a free download.

I am still only consenting to my name and year of birth. I suppose that no matter how secure the website, the internet is not 100% secure even the most secure websites and companies that spend tons of money on security.

Hopefully more highly visible people and rich folks would be a preferable target rather than ordinary folks like me.
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