Have you ever stopped to contemplate what will happen to your digital or online information when you are gone? Thinking to yourself, my spouse has my passwords and knows my accounts, so there's no issue?
You may be wrong.
According to The Economic Times,
there may be rules and regulations in place that will determine what
happens to all your hard work online should you die. Although the site
is Indian, I think it's smart to look at what they are saying...
about it a moment - what activities do you participate in online or on
your computer? For me, there are emails, financial records, legal and
medical records, blogs, communities, photos, poems, stories, music,
online banking, online bill paying, records, well - you get it. I work
very hard every day as a Health Activist and I want that work carefully
guarded and passed along should I die. I have carefully recorded my
passwords, and my important links are stored in my computer (okay, maybe
not the smartest thing to rely on).
So, what does this mean?
assume then that, should I die, my extremely computer savvy hubs will
spend a few moments mourning my passing and then go online and use my
email accounts and addys to tell all my dear friends and family that I
have gone. In my mind I see him some weekend later sitting at my messy
desk perusing the folders while peering at my enormous monitor. I
imagine him shaking his head at one thing, and smiling at another.
But he won't have a clue what to do past that point!
my various folders are letters to friends and family that I would like
them to receive after I've gone. It's a silly little thing I do when I'm
feeling particularly sentimental some days. I'm okay with my hubs
reading them, but does he know that I want those letters passed along to
their addressees? No.
So, I need a digital will.
create a digital will, The Economic Times tells us we must first create
an inventory. The next step is to get my digital signature
authenticated. Then with this information, my digital will can be
created. Once created it may be stored online (complete with links) or
in a more solid form. The digital will does not take precedence over
your last will and testament, but is apparently designed to work in
concert with it.
Did you know service providers have different policies about your accounts after your death? It's true. For example, while google may give access to relatives, Yahoo's policy is to terminate the account. Period.
What about information you DON'T want passed on?
people might consider what they want to live and be passed on after
their death, but what about those things you want to die with you? In
order to prevent someone from gaining access you will also need your
digital will, or an "account guardian service"
(Who knew such a thing existed?!) whose job is to keep your secrets
secret by allowing you to upload all of it to their site and tell them
who you want to have it. You can also opt in for an account incinerator
service and upon your death *poof* it's all gone.
There are sites that are designed to give your loved ones your digital will or last words. One of them is called The Last Messages Club.
you thought about what will happen to your information when you die?
Have you made any arrangements to be sure that those you want or do not
want to have access to your information are aware of your wishes?