Risks of Sharing DNA with Genetic Testing Sites

Nowadays, many consumer DNA testing companies promise to reveal everything from personal traits to health predispositions to other secrets hidden in your DNA. 

There is nothing more sensitive than your genetic information, and uploading your raw data or taking a test entails sharing your personal genetic information with other DNA sites. 

It’s important to understand how your DNA data might be used by these companies, and how you can prevent your DNA information from being stolen, or shared with others without your consent.

Read on to learn more about the risks involved with uploading your genetic information using DNA sequencing tools.

How Law Enforcement May Get Access To Your Genetic Information

Consumer genetic databases, particularly the ones that offer free genetic testing, may be used by law enforcement for police investigations.

In 2018, GEDMatch, a free-to-use genetic service, gave law enforcement officials access to user records to help in the investigation of murders and sexual assaults, unless users opted out.

In the same year, FamilyTreeDNA made some modifications to its terms of service in order to allow law-enforcement use in cases of “violent crimes.”

Nowadays, it is suspected that some companies that offer DNA analysis for free might actually be run by law enforcement agencies, which means that your information might be easily accessible for solving criminal cases. 

However, it is important to take note that there are reputable companies that still take your privacy as their top priority, and have strict policies on how to protect your information.

23andMe and Ancestry, for example, have kept their ground in not releasing any customer data to law enforcement. 

LifeDNA, in particular, is one of the companies that value users’ privacy in relation to potential law enforcement requests. Please check out our Privacy Policy to learn more about how we protect your data.

While these reputable businesses choose to fight demands from law enforcement by using all available legal and administrative means, they may still be required by law to comply with a legitimate court order, subpoena, or search warrant for genetic or personal information.

Already taken a DNA test with 23andMe? Use your results to unlock more powerful information into you health and well-being. See LifeDNA plans here.

Is Your DNA At Risk From Cyber Attacks?

Certain DNA testing websites do not have stringent security measures, making their system more susceptible to a data breach. 

In 2017, researchers at the University of Washington discovered indications of poor security practices utilized in many open-source DNA sequencing tools

The study identified known security flaws that could enable unauthorized parties to acquire control of computer systems, potentially letting them steal your personal information or even alter DNA results.

Some of the DNA test companies that had cases of security breach in the past include MyHeritage, GedMatch, and Veritas Genetics

There are people out there who would want to steal your data. That’s why it is important to know how these companies protect your DNA information against cybersecurity risks.

At LifeDNA, the safety of our users’ information is our top priority. Your DNA is encrypted, safe, and secure. 

We never had a data breach in our system, and we regularly check our security measures in order to keep DNA information protected at all times. 

Already taken a DNA test with 23andMe, Ancestry, or other genome sequencing tools? Upload your DNA and gain insights into your health and wellness. See LifeDNA plans here.

Do not let other people steal your DNA information. 

Your DNA is the blueprint of your life, and we, at LifeDNA, stand by you in keeping your DNA safe and secure. 

We do recommend that you go for companies that you can trust and that can protect your data. 

Check out this article to learn more about how you can protect your DNA data.

How To Protect Your DNA Data

There are tons of DNA test sites that allow you to upload your DNA to generate more information based on your genetic makeup.

Your DNA is incredibly sensitive, and understanding how these DNA sequencing tools store and use your information is extremely important.   

Here are some steps you can take to better protect your DNA data and prevent your information from being stolen.

1. Go for DNA companies that you can truly trust. 

Do your own research and take a look at the company’s privacy policy before uploading your data. 

Are they going to sell or share your information with other organizations? Who has access to your data?  Do they have a history of any data breaches or of sharing customers’ information without their consent? 

Knowing the answers to these questions can help you make an informed decision. 

It’s also critical to know how these services might utilize your DNA data. Law enforcement may use consumer genetic databases for police investigations, particularly those that offer free genetic testing. 

A few years ago, Gedmatch, a free genetic service,  granted law enforcement officers access to user details to assist in police operations.

It is also essential to learn how to keep your DNA data from unauthorized access or from being shared with others without your permission.

A few DNA testing providers, such as GedMatch, Veritas Genetics, and MyHeritage, have had security breaches in the past.

2. Delete your DNA from your computer after uploading it.

Deleting your DNA file from your device will reduce the risk of people getting access to your information in case they get access to your personal device. 

There’s no need to worry about completely losing your raw data because you can always download it from the site where you took your DNA test from. 

How to protect your dna

Got your 23andMe DNA test? Learn more about how you can upload your DNA to get additional insights into your health and wellness. 

3. Install an antivirus software on your PC

It’s important to install an antivirus software if you’re at risk of opening dangerous links or if you share a computer with several people in your household.

how to protect your DNA

4. Ensure your computer software is up to date. 

Operating systems for phones and computers, web browsers, and popular apps are being updated on a regular basis with new features and security enhancements. 

These security updates are often significantly more effective than antivirus software at deterring hackers.

5. Go for strong password combinations. 

Avoid patterns and combinations that are very easy to crack. Be more creative and come up with a password that’s difficult to guess. This can help you keep your accounts protected and secure. 

Also, it is recommended that you do not use the same password in all your accounts and devices. This can help prevent further complications in case one of these passwords gets compromised.

Finally, because security and privacy are intertwined, you must develop the practice of safeguarding both. It may appear to be a time-consuming and difficult task, but once you’ve completed these steps, all that’s left is to hone your judgment and develop excellent internet habits.

LifeDNA Protects Your Genetic Information

We are committed to protecting your genetic information. We make sure that your personal information is private and protected at all times.

We’ve never had a security breach in our database, and we evaluate our security procedures on a regular basis to ensure that your genetic data remains safe.

Ready to upload your DNA and unlock additional information on your health and wellness? Check out our report bundle offers today. 

How To Login To Your Ancestry Account

Ancestry specializes in helping people in tracing their genetic roots and locating long-lost relatives. It is offered at an affordable price, although it has previously raised privacy concerns.

If you’ve already completed a DNA test with Ancestry, you can use your previous findings to learn more about your health, body, and wellness.

How to login in to your Ancestry account

Please follow the steps given below:

  1. Go to www.ancestry.com.
  1. At the top right-hand corner, click on ‘Sign In’
  1. Enter your username or email address and your password and click Sign in.

How to sign out of your Ancestry account

  1. Click your name or username (or a silhouette of a person, if you don’t see your name) 
  2. Select ‘Sign Out’ from the drop-down menu. 

Your Ancestry Dashboard

As soon as you login to your Ancestry account, you’ll be able to access different tools such as:

  • Trees – helps you upload and build your family tree, or trace your ancestors. 
  • Search – provides the ability to find collections related to birth, marriage, travel, and other public family trees. 
  • DNA – helps you discover DNA matches, ethnicity estimates, answer surveys, and more. 
  • Help – gives you access to the genealogy community, Ancestry support, and more. 
  • Extra – offers other tools that may find useful. These include photo books and posters based on your Ancestry DNA, tutorial videos, exploring heritage tours, and more.

Have a 23andMe account instead? See how you could access your reports.

Is Ancestry right for you?

AncestryDNA is best for people who wish to learn about their geographic origins and possibly uncover long-lost ancestors. 

It’s important to note that AncestryDNA testing is not focused on providing insights on genetic health risks and personalized wellness.

So, if discovering your history isn’t your main goal and you’re more interested in optimizing your health and body, you might want to check out LifeDNA, which can provide a 360-degree perspective of your general health and wellness.

How to Login In To Your 23andMe Account

23andMe offers DNA tests and interactive tools to help consumers understand their genetic information and ancestry. 

The company has sold over 12 million DNA kits since it was founded, being one of the largest players in the DNA testing industry. 

If you’ve already taken a DNA test with 23andMe, you can use your existing results in order to unlock additional insights into your health, body, and wellness. Check out this article to learn more.

How to sign in to your 23andme account

Please follow the steps given below:

1: Visit their website at https://www.23andMe.com

2: On the top right-hand corner of the page click on “Sign In”

3. Enter your email address and password.

4. Click on “Sign in” again.

How to sign out of your 23andMe account

Please follow the steps below:

1: Move your cursor to the top right-hand corner of the screen where you can see your username.

2: Click on the drop-down arrow

Want to learn more about how you can maximize your existing 23andMe DNA test results? Here’s an in-depth comparison of 23andMe and LifeDNA.

Your 23andMe Dashboard

Inside your dashboard, you’ll be able to navigate through different genetic tools 

  • Home

As soon as you log in, you’ll be directed to you your home, which gives you quick access to some interesting tools such as the lifestyle dashboard, health highlights page, research surveys, recent blog posts, and more.

  • Ancestry 

This tab is where you can access all of your ancestry reports, your DNA relatives, and even order your own, personal DNA book. 

23andMe has more than 50 trait reports related to ancestry. 

  • Health Traits

This tab is where you’ll be able to find all of your reports on wellness, traits, health predisposition, carrier status, and other health insights that are available to you. 

  • Research

In this tab, you’ll be able to learn more about the genetic research being done by 23andMe and access the publications you contributed to by answering their surveys and questionnaires. 

23andMe’s research has made over 1500 genetic discoveries so far. 

  • Family & Friends

This is where you can share your DNA with your relatives, and view your genetic similarities and differences with them.

Your 23andMe Profile

When you click on your name, you’ll be able to find different tools that can help you further customize your experience

  • ‘View your profile’ gives your a quick view of your genetic information all in one page. 
  • ‘Invite’ allows you to invite your family and friends so you compare your DNA with them. 
  • ‘Settings’ can help you update your password, email, and other personal information. 

You can also change your privacy preferences, research consent, and delete your data through this page. 

  • ‘Browse Raw Data’ allows you to look into your DNA data and download it to your computer or mobile device. 
  • The ‘Resources’ page helps you view tutorials, find a genetic counselor, and get access to your raw data. 
  • ‘Help’ gives you access to a wide range of instructions, references, and information on different topics related to your 23andMe account, DNA test, and reports. 
  • ‘Sign Out’ allows you to log out of your 23andMe account. 

Already have your 23andMe raw data with you? Upload your DNA now to LifeDNA and get additional reports on your health and wellness. 

Discover The Best Genetic Testing For Health

Your DNA is powerful, and we’re extremely excited to have you with us here at LifeDNA so that you can start turning that powerful information into sustainable, positive change in your life.