Does your digital footprint die with you?

AFTR Admin
September 11, 2020
Does your digital footprint die with you?

These days, most people have digital accounts and digital assets. A British survey found that only 25% of people have made a plan for what happens to their digital footprint when they’ve passed away. According to YouGov, “More than half of adults (52%) said no-one, including friends or family, would be able to access their online accounts should anything happen to them.”

We’ve compiled a list of areas to think about, before someone has to decide for you.

Social Media Profiles

Many social media platforms will allow you to choose what happens to your account when you pass away, whether it is deleted or left published as a memorial page. Facebook’s legacy contact feature helps people designate a digital heir. It’s worth checking each social media profile you have for the specific terms and conditions, and take note of your passwords.

Login Information and Password Managers The best way to streamline all of your log in information is to use a password manager application. You can put the master password and logins into a safe and make the key location known to your executor or trusted party. Since passwords are changed many times, it’s better to simply store the most updated ones in a digital way that can be easily updated and accessed when needed.

A Word about Two-Factor Authentication and Phones It’s increasingly common to have two-factor authentication beyond your standard password. This means services confirm it’s really you trying to sign in with a text message sent to your mobile phone, or an email sent to another address of yours. Make sure that your verification methods are also accessible by your digital heir or digital executor.

Private Information

Do you have private writings, like diary entries, or old personal photos that you wouldn’t want others to see? Take stock of those items in your accounts and decide whether to move them offline or delete them completely at a specific date.

Billing for Digital Accounts and Subscriptions

Most likely, you have accounts set up to bill you monthly for various services. It’s important to take note which paid services should be turned off and which ones should have the credit card updated. For example, you might want to keep providing access to your cloud-based photo library on your phone, but the credit card would need to be changed. Or, you might not need a premium music streaming service any longer, so you’d want it to be turned off.

Digital Content and Assets

At the time of writing, most downloaded and purchased movies, music, or audio-books are sold to you under non-transferable licenses and their terms and conditions don’t include survivorship. This means it’s best to back up any files you own on a hard drive or on a cloud drive and make sure to share access to it.

According to a research report, “These are our digital remains, which are the bits and pieces that reflect our digital personality, and at the same time, make up the memories our friends and family.” It’s best to decide what will happen with them.