Is your online life prepared for your passing?

This isn’t a topic that we like to dwell on, but have you ever considered what would happen to all of your online photos, your social networks, your blog(s) and any other online accounts you have, if something were to happen to you and you were to pass? (in other words: die)

For several years, I have reminded my friends to have some sort of plan in place, should something happen to them.

Think about it: if you are like me, you have formed many relationships online. There are people within this group who you have, hopefully, come to know and care about – and vice versa .  But these people probably don’t know your husband or family. They have no way of knowing you other than online and, possibly, via phone.

How would they know if something happened to you and you were unable, either temporarily or permanently, to get online and let people know?

I have many honest-to-goodness friends who would have no idea what had happened to me, were it not for having a plan in place for such an occurrence.

Even if you are a total recluse online, you may have photos or documents stored at various sites. What would happen to them?

Online banking accounts. Email accounts.

We have logins and passwords. Maybe a different login and password for every site we use. Without a plan in place, those items would be inaccessible.

Some steps to get you started:

1) Decide who, if anyone, online you would want notified if something were to happen to you.

2) Talk to someone about these plans. It might be your spouse, an adult child, a friend who knows your family and is already in contact with them.

3) Let them know where you would keep any login and password information, should they need to be able to obtain it. (consider storing this information in a fireproof lock box/safe)

If you aren’t comfortable with having this information written down, come up with a plan for letting people know without the need for login information – whether it be a comment left on your site or mentioning it on their own sites. (This would, obviously, not help access any information, but would cover sharing this information with those who care about you online.)

Or, take a look at Legacy Locker, a new site (going live in April) that “lets you grant access to online assets for friends and loved ones in the event of death or disability.”

Technology has become an everyday, permanent part of our lives. These are valid steps to consider.

Do you have a plan in place already? Share your solutions in comments.

Comments

  1. These things are important to think about Karla! My husband know a lot about what I do online, but I doubt he knows how to login to my file hosting site, photos, blog, all kinds of things!

  2. You make good points. I’ve never thought much about it. I have quite a few friends who blog and my husband could probably get into my blog and make an announcement, God forbid if it was necessary. I guess I should put together a little document though. ACK!

  3. My husband calls me morbid, but I’ve talked a bit about this and what would happen. I have enough real life friends and family active online that I’m sure anything big would “leak” to my greater cyber world, but I hadn’t thought much about all my passwords for “smaller” accounts–accessing my blog and other social media sites, my Flickr and Photobucket accounts, my PayPal and Revolution accounts… I definitely should think about that. Great thoughts as always!

  4. All great ideas; glad you published this as a reminder of things I need to do.

    Joce W.

  5. I want to be cremated so I talk about it.

    I do online banking along with online ING savings & online Sharebuilders stock account.

    If I go first poor dh ….

  6. Macabre, but true. Thanks for the reminder. I would hate to think that my kids would lose my blog if I were to die suddenly.

    • Yes, it is Meredith. And it’s certainly not something we jump up in the morning to talk about. But I’ve always thought it was very important to do these things now that so much of our lives are online.

  7. I know I need to do this, but I keep putting it off (sort of like my will). Thank you!

  8. I've thought about this often. Scrapbooking has really fallen off because of blogging and online activities. I am working on a book of Internet passwords. I'm sure my daughter will broadcast can broadcast it on Facebook if need be!

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