First, this is a little site, with not much traffic, and will probably be that way forever. As such, it’s just not any kind of target for the bad guys to try to come steal information.
Second, I’m just as interested in staying private and safe as you are. Before I implement any feature I take into consideration how it impacts privacy and safety, for me, my users, and my data, and take defensive measures accordingly.
Third, nothing is perfect and this site is neither complete nor abandoned. So if you think there’s some risk to you and yours, PLEASE let me know and I’ll get on it.
That said, here are the steps I’ve taken to ensure our privacy…
Your email address will be known only to me, unless you code it somewhere else in your profile or in comments. The software I use here encodes these addresses so they shouldn’t be accessible even to the automated bots that troll the “backend” for hidden email addresses. So far, I haven’t gotten any spam whatsoever from the multiple email accounts I’ve got set up here. I’ll be keeping an eye on it.
There are three levels of access to this site: Public, Registered, and Special. Every article can be restricted if necessary. So stories about living folk, probably would not be public, or even registered access. I’d rather be too restrictive than not restrictive enough.
For the family tree:
Genealogy is the second most popular use for the internet (I heard that somewhere long ago, not sure if it’s true anymore or not, but the fact remains, genealogy is HUGE on the net). There’s just tons of data out there, much of it is wrong, and some of it just should NOT be published publicly.
Public, unregistered users can not see information about living people.
Visibility of living folk is going to be reserved for family members that I know personally.
FYI: Some facts about people aren’t even copied from my home computer up to the website, so they are a private as private can be. Genealogists tend to be the repository for tons of info (and we write it ALL down!) and have an obligation to respect the privacy of those folks we keep track of (living and dead). If you find something on this site that you’d rather stay private, please let me know and I’ll take it out.
For the website in general:
I do want the info here to be searchable so that relatives can find the site, but I’ve taken measures to keep sensitive bits away from the prying eyes of searchbots.
Again, you are the best resource I’ve got to help me find holes in my security. PLEASE let me know if you find that I’ve missed something. No system is perfect and I’m always looking to improve security.