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Online Privacy and Genealogy

As a genealogist or just casually spending time doing family research, you may spend a lot of time on social media in groups or pages related to genealogy. One thing that you may see often are questions regarding privacy in regards to their social media profiles and with their online family trees on whatever service they may be using.

Famicity doesn’t endorse how you should manage your privacy on social media or any genealogy website but we have some things to consider when deciding on how much you may or may not want to share. In the end, it’s entirely up to you.

Family Tree Privacy

There are many reasons why person conducts genealogy research. A person might just be looking for neat little facts and stories about their family while others have more serious reasons such as tracking medical conditions or finding biological family members that have been separated by time or various life events.

The debates go back and forth for why trees should be public and why they should be private. Really, it’s a personal choice.

Here are some reasons why family trees may be set to private.

  • Research isn’t confirmed to be accurate. The owner of a tree may not have confirmed all research so they do not want to share possibly incorrect information with others.
  • Someone is looking for a specific family member and the tree is all over the place trying to place them and it looks like they are not a good researcher.
  • A person may have a lot of pictures and records stored that someone else has taken for they own tree. The person may have attached it to the wrong person or altered research that you’ve confirmed.
  • People may contact DNA matches or those who have taken pictures or records to start a conversation and maybe even make a friend or meet a relative but never receive a response.

How Websites Help You Maintain Privacy


There are many ways to adjust and gauge what you share publically on social media as well as whatever genealogy websites you may use. For example, and automatically set living people in a family tree to private. provides an option for you to set your family trees to public or private. By default, a tree is set to public until changed to private. Along with this, you can invite other members to be guests on your tree with the option to allow them to see information about living persons.

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Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn

Social Media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, provide options for who can see your posts and profile information. You have options to share with everyone, friends of friends or friends on your list. There are also in-between options as well that you can fine tune. If you want or need to block content from specific people or profiles, they do have a block option to hide your online profile and content completely.

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What Does Famicity Do To Protect My Privacy?

Famicity is a social media website designed specifically for sharing your family tree, genealogy stories and current life events with your family online. However, privacy is a top priority with Famicity. While members can look you up, they cannot see any content on your profile or family tree until you specifically invite them to do so.

Privacy is a Top Priority with Famicity.

While members can look you up, they cannot see any content on your profile or family tree until you specifically invite them to do so. Once you are connected with another member on Famicity, you have additional permissions that you can set for that member. It can get very granular for what one member in your online family community can see versus that of another member.

Check Out Famicity’s Privacy Statement

Are you a member of Famicity? If not, give Famicity a try! Famicity is free and easy to use and secure. You’ll quickly see how private it can be and how it is 100% up to you on what you share and with who.



Online Privacy and Protecting Yourself on the Internet | Blog | Famicity

[…] On Facebook, the personal information you indicate (workplace, age etc.), photos, videos and publications can be referenced and thus viewed on Google! To make them invisible to the general public, update each of your accounts (Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin etc.). This Famicity blog from 2017 touches on how to set specific items on Facebook private. Check it out! […]

Privacy on Famicity and How it Affects You | Blog | Famicity

[…] For additional information on how to protect and understand your data and privacy on other social media or genealogy websites, check out this helpful blog. […]

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