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‫ Your online life after death

Number: IRCAR201510279

Date: 2015-10-16

OK, so I know you don’t really want to talk about this – but here goes: we’re all going to die someday. Maybe you’ve already started thinking ahead:

- planning for your funeral,

- the care of loved ones and

- disposal of your property.

But what about your online life? All the digital files, photos, posts and other accounts you leave behind might cause a lot of inconvenience – even fraud or identity theft – for your loved ones to clean up.

The key to digital life after death, or even after incapacity, is planning. Think about your digital life and what you want to happen to each part of it when you can’t handle it yourself.

Here are a few tips to figure out a plan for your online life after death.

• Count your accounts. Make an inventory of your digital life, including accounts for email, social media, blogging, gaming, and cloud storage. Keep track of each site’s name, URL, your user name, password, your wishes for each, and other information that might be necessary for access. In that inventory, describe your wishes for those accounts: preserve, delete, secure the value or whatever else is appropriate.

Of course, compiling this inventory creates risk in and of itself, so keep your inventory secure and out of plain sight. Some of your accounts may involve money – either real-world or online currencies – and may require additional attention. Keep your inventory secure and out of plain sight. Don’t attach your inventory to your will which becomes a public document after your death. Keep your inventory secure and out of plain sight.

• Secure It All. Now that you have a master collection of everything that exists in your digital life, you need to make sure it’s secure. If you’re using the digital options, you need to use more than just a strong password. Nowadays, there are countless online services for storing passwords. Be aware that even the most secure systems are vulnerable to hacking. If you're interested in going this route, investigate a service's features, ease of use, customer support and, most importantly, its security.

If you don’t want to use any digital option, then simply write everything down on paper. I would highly advise against using a program like Word and then printing the file. The main issue being that while you are creating the file, it’s wide open to attack and not encrypted. Plus you have the chance of forgetting about it altogether, thereby opening yourself up to all kinds of problems. It will obviously take quite a bit of time to compile the list, so it’s best to use something secure while you do it.

At a later point, after exporting the database to a printed version, you could delete the database or online account if you really felt uncomfortable.

• Get in the know – now. Many accounts will let you make arrangements now or name someone to manage the account after your death. Research your options.

• Who can help? While the inventory of digital assets is critical, you also need the right person to access those accounts and carry out your wishes. And then give them the roadmap to your digital life and the legal power to act for you. You might want to name a digital executor to handle all these tasks after your death, preferably someone who has experience with online accounts and will understand how to carry out your instructions – or make decisions about issues that you might not have foreseen. You can select a friend or family member to be your digital executor or you can hire a third-party service to help you.


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تاریخ ایجاد: 13 آبان 1394

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