There are more than 2,500 websites collecting your personal information and anyone can access them for free.
These websites, such as FamilyTreeNow.com, collect birthdates, current and past addresses, as well as the names of family members and associates. All anyone needs to search is your name and the city or state you live in.
Having this information readily available, makes it easy for cyber criminals and identity thieves to potentially get into your bank account, open a credit card in your name, or start guessing your passwords.
The TMLT Risk Management Department notes that the risks could be even greater for physicians given the prevalence of cyber crime in health care. When creating passwords, consider the information available on these sites and think twice about using passwords related to family members or addresses.
These types of data mining websites are legal, but you can opt out and have your information removed. This siteprovides links to opt-out of the top 50 data mining sites.