The Douglas Archives

A collection of historical and genalogical records

I thought that I should review the website's privacy policy. It is not something I look at very often, and, according to Google Analytics, nor does anyone else! However, safeguarding information is important and it seemed prudent to have another look.

Our privacy policy covers data collected through marketing, registration and similar methods. It does not focus on the content of the genealogy database. Perhaps it should?

Principal concerns with genealogy data are how it can affect identity theft. Some feel that genealogy databases are a rich seam for fraudsters. Others feel that these concerns are peripheral. In my case, my personal details have been recorded in publically available material since I was born. So my date of birth and mother's maiden name are easily accessible. Does this make my identity easy to steal? Well, may be not. Using my date of birth or mother's maiden name as a password or proof of identity would not be my first choice. Or if it had to be used, then should only be used as one part of the security process.

Some websites have a policy of not publishing details of the living, so even if you have a family link to Queen Elizabeth, or President Obama, you cannot show them!

Several of the genealogy websites do have good discussions on identity theft, and they are worth a read. However, I offer caution in going overboard in supressing information that is already public, as some seem to suggest.

Try Family Tree Magazine and ancestry.com for further reading.

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Making conections

The more information you can give about the people you mention, the more chance there is of someone else connecting with your family.

Dates and places of births, deaths and marriages all help to place families.

Professions also help.

'My great-grandmother mother was a Douglas from Montrose' does not give many clues to follow up! But a bit of flesh on the bones makes further research possible. But if we are told who she married, what his profession was and where the children were baptised, then we can get to work.

Maybe it is time to update the information in your profile?


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