Knowing how to plan for your Digital Death. I know this is an odd topic to be writing about on a bright sunny Sunday Father’s Day morning like today. I usually write my blogs on Sunday mornings, which allows me to say relevant and keep up with any related current events and search engine optimization, or similar topics.
I am not going to write anything about religion or the afterlife, which fascinates me, not because I am excited to find out. However, when attending a funeral, I always wonder what they know now, that I don’t or can’t know until its time.
On the other hand, I am talking about Data! What will happen to your digital data on this side, when you are on the other side? This topic comes up now because I have a close friend that recently lost her sister. She passed quickly and easily in her sleep, but it was a complete surprise to the family, and my friend, her sister.
In this case, there was almost no planning. We had a few positive things going for us. At least she had a digital assistant. However, she was in the Philippines, which made her hard to communicate.
Moreover, she only has access to a handful of the digital death or digital footprint left by my friend’s sister. I spent hour and hours tracking down her digital footprints. In just GoDaddy she had nearly 50 domains, none of the family even had a clue.
That made me think and investigate a bit more. What would happen to my digital presence, if the worst suddenly happened and I digitally died? FaceBook and Google both allow an executor to delete all of the information and past accounts. Apple will not unlock a phone no matter what, even in the case of digital death.
Create a Plan
None of us, or at least very few, know the exact time of our digital demise. There are several things you can do to protect your identity here, while you are in the afterlife, or whatever you believe.
Passwords are the key. The best step would be to assign a digital executor. There are different levels of this. For example, with Facebook or Instagram, you can appoint someone to take control of your account, if it has been inactive. They will try to contact you, then after a period of time, control of the account will revert to the assignee.
Several companies offer a single password, i.e., 1-Password, Sticky Password, Dashlane, Keeper Security and ironically Last Pass. I use 1-Password, but most of them are excellent and reputable. The secret lies in whom you allow access to this password in the untimely digital death.
I must have access to thousands of passwords by now. I have been in the internet business in one form or another for 20 years. The best way to handle your digital death is to use a single password. This password will give the executor access to all of your accounts. It would help if you also bequeathed the phone to this individual.
All of this is a moot point if you don’t leave instructions. It would help if you privately gave the attorney power to hand off your 1-Password with precise guidelines for every account, including your phone. Your idea of longevity may be different from your trusted friend, so be specific. Their sense of humor may outlive yours.
In today’s world of “Cloud” computing, the absence of a plan compounded the initial death of my friend’s sister. I recently heard of individual that wanted to keep his FaceBook account active until the year 2200. Moreover, he paid a company to keep posting for that length of time, avoiding his digital death.
At e2 Total Solutions, we are not attorneys. If you need legal advice, please seek out a Lawyer. However, if you need help thinking through the landmines, and pitfalls of your digital death, we would be willing to help. Having gone through the process ourselves.
Moreover, while in this life in you need help with your reputation, we have a new offering called Reputation-Revolution.com