The Mess You Leave Behind And How To Take Care Of It

The Mess You Leave Behind And How To Take Care Of It

This is a story in Tech Here’s What Happens to Your Data After You Die that we will all face – and it becomes more of a messy reality for each up-and-coming generation.

“Emru was indeed someone I knew. A talented writer, a good friend, and a true mensch, beloved by many. He was also dead. He had succumbed to leukemia a few years earlier at the age of 39.

Yet there he was, smiling at me just like he did in life. But it wasn’t just a social media account that survived Emru. There’s his personal blog, where he recounted in sometimes-painful detail his battle against cancer, and his professional one, featuring some of the hundreds of articles he wrote on technology and animation. There’s his Flickr account, featuring photos of him in the hospital. There’s the site his family set up in an effort to find a stem cell donor, which ultimately proved unsuccessful. Today, nearly seven years to the day of Emru’s passing, he still receives email at his account, maintained by his widow, Vicky.

In addition to leaving a mark on everyone he met, Emru also left a footprint on the Internet, which his family struggled to deal with because they did not have access to all of his accounts.

This is a problem all of us on the Internet will encounter eventually, whether we want to think about it or not.

What can go wrong? Lots. Your loved one may have died leaving photos and videos behind that you can’t get to. He may have locked essential financial or other information away with passwords and not left those with you. She may have online financial accounts with money or credits leftover, or social media accounts that continue to generate painful reminders of her absence.

And, each year, the personal information of more than 2.5 million dead people is abused by identity thieves, according to ID Analytics.”

A logical but wrong assumption is to leave your passwords and digital assets in your will. Evan Carrol from says “Don’t insert login information into your will,  those documents usually become part of the public record, allowing any stranger to gain access to your accounts.”

This is why you need Assigning each website you have an account with, to specific individual(s) with instructions insures you have control over each and every site after your passing. For example, you might want to make sure your Twitter account is shut down while your facebook wall is a memorial. You might want one person to take over your email and another to share your flicker photos with family and friends before closing it. With so many variable terms with each site and laws within each state PassingBye is truly your best form of “Digital Life” insurance.



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