Not easy topic to talk about but we all know that this is something that needs to be covered at some point. Your digital legacy is important and you should take control and decide what you want to be done with it after you die. Whatever you want someone your trust to do with your online information. There is a lot that needs to be done.
Think about Facebook, Google, Twitter, Pinterest, Yahoo, bank accounts and many more online platforms that we all use almost every day. Different usernames, passwords, security questions, etc. to all of those platforms/applications. Our loved ones will face the dilemma how to delete those applications or how to get access to information. It’s not an easy task. But there are few things that can be done prior to something bad happens.
Before something happens we should take care of our online activities and make sure that someone we trust will have access to our online life.
Here are few options:
Paper Copy or Email
This one is a tricky but take this option under consideration.
Create two separate files: 1st file with the list of all your online accounts (without passwords) and give it to someone you trust. Then create 2nd file with only list of passwords to your first list and keep it in a safe place or safe deposit box (make sure that trusted person will have access to that safe deposit box or the safe place you decide to leave the list of passwords). In this case your online accounts are safe because no one will have access to both files at the same time.
You can also do it in a digital version by using emails: create a list of all your online accounts and give it to someone you trust. The list with all passwords (but without accounts name) keep as an email that you sent to yourself. Password to your email account keep in your will or any document that is going to be opened in case of your death. Then she/he (person you trust) will get the access to your will and the password to your email account where they locate an email with all passwords to the 1st list.
I know it’s a little complected but this is in case you don’t want anyone to have access to your online accounts before you die.
Facebook – “Legacy Contact”
You can tell Facebook in advance whether you’d like to have your account memorialized or permanently deleted from Facebook. More information, please click here
“Legacy Contact” – Memorialization is Facebook’s way of creating a space for people to mourn. The “Legacy Contact” doesn’t allow access to your private messages or allow the designated contact to log in as you, but they can change your profile and cover photos to commemorate your life or respond to new friend requests. More information, please click here
Google – “Inactive Account Manager”
“Google Inactive Account Manager” is a way for users to share parts of their account data or notify someone if they’ve been inactive for a certain period of time. Here is information how to setup this feature (click here)
- 1Password – has an option called “Emergency Kit”, it’s a pdf file with your account information and Master Password. You can save this file on your computer or USB drive or simply print it out and keep it in a safe place. More information, please click here
- LastPass – offers “Emergency Access” that allows someone you trust access to your LastPass account and also is used as account recovery feature. More information, please click here
- Dashlane – offers “Emergency Contact” in case you want to make sure that someone you trust or family can access your passwords in case something happens to you. More information, please click here
You should create an inventory of all your online accounts you sign up to. Here is a list of few:
- Social Media: Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Linkedin, etc.
- Financial, Utilities, Shopping: Banks, checking accounts, mortgage, insurance, retirement, cable tv, internet provider, gas and electric bills, mobile phone provider, Amazon, ebay, Etsy, etc.
- Cloud Storage (with your photos, videos, music): Dropbox, Box, OneDrive, Drive, Mega, etc.
- Online Subscription Services: Spotify, Pandora, SoundCloud, PlayMusic, iHeartRadio, YouTube Red, etc.
- Blogs and Website Hosting: WordPress, Blogspot, Squarespace, GoDaddy, BlueHost, etc.
- E-mails: Gmail, Yahoo, Outlook, etc.
It’s not easy but this is something that needs to be done so consider what you want to happen with your digital legacy (all your social networking accounts, blogs, online accounts) after you die. Create helpful instructions for someone who is going to be responsible for that task, help him/her to fulfill your wishes.