If you have an online presence socially or professionally, you need to give thought to what will happen to your digital information after you die. By taking measures to secure your “digital afterlife,” you can leave a digital legacy for your family and reduce the risk of identity theft after your demise. Here are a few ways you can plan your digital afterlife.
Preparing your Digital Inheritance
Pre-planning is key to securing your digital information against fraudulent use after you die. The first step is to make a detailed list of your online accounts which includes social media, banking, social security, online buying sites, email accounts and other essential files that need protection against hackers when you pass on. This information should be incorporated into your will.
Next, specify in your will how you want your accounts to be handled upon your death. You may want your accounts kept completely private and deleted upon your demise. Or you could leave usernames and passwords with a trustworthy family member or friend, giving them permission to enter your accounts and carry out your instructions on handling the information therein. If you choose the latter, you’ll need to create legal documentation authorizing this individual as your digital executor. They will then be responsible for handling your digital affairs after you’re gone.
Options for Managing Social Media Accounts for Deceased Members
Social media sites differ in their protocol for managing accounts of deceased members. Some sites such as Facebook and Instagram have settings that allow users to program what to do with their account after they die, giving them the option of memorializing their account or deleting it outright. Other sites like LinkedIn and Twitter will work with a digital executor to deactivate an account, given that the executor can provide a copy of the death certificate to prove the user has died.
Google accounts (Gmail, Google+, YouTube) enable users to set up an “inactive account” feature that automatically goes into effect when an account hasn't been used for a certain amount of time. Microsoft accounts provide users with “Next of Kin” requests to determine how their account is handled when they die.
Afterlife Online Services
You can also sign up with an afterlife online service for professional help in managing your digital accounts upon your demise. Companies such as AfterSteps, Dead Social, Digital Remains and others give you the option of deleting, transferring, preserving, posting or updating information on your digital accounts to fulfill your wishes once you are gone. By exploring what these companies have to offer, you can decide which service would be best for you. Working with an afterlife online service provides peace of mind that your digital data will be properly handled after you die.
At Northside Chapel Funeral Directors and Crematory, we can help you pre-plan all aspects of your funeral services that way you are not rushed or stressed in making your decisions. Call us today at 770-645-1414 for all your funeral arrangement needs.