For most of us, the biggest part of our lives are digital, with our most vital information stored in the cloud, on our phones, computers, laptops and websites and more. This begs the question – what happens to our digital lives if we die? How can we protect our data?
In the past year or so, many solutions have cropped up to address this issue – what to do with our digital selves and who gets access. The dilemma is where do our passwords, profiles, personal letters and emails, and websites/blogs go, and do we really want these things to live on forever with the chance of scammers, identity thieves or hackers gaining access?
Another important thought is whether we want to allow access to some of our most personal information to family members or spouses. Are there incriminating emails, posts and profiles that would embarrass us should they be discovered? Would we want them deleted should we die suddenly?
The most rational solution to some of these questions is to set up and create an online digital will, or talk with an expert about a digital estate plan.
These digital records of our lives can either live on, or be deleted, and after choosing the one person you trust to handle your digital life as you wish – decisions can be made before something happens.
But how do you begin sorting out this digital maze of yourself? Continue reading below to find out.
Start a Digital Record
Identifying your digital assets is the best place to start and a way to start organizing and hopefully, eliminating some of your unnecessary or incriminating digital information. Things like email accounts, documents, images and audio/video files is a great place to start. Might want to list profiles, blogs and websites as well.
On this list you can also provide passwords, user ID’s and other important information to be incorporated into your digital will.
Sort Digital Devices separately
Remember, with smartphones – we now have a device so like our computers that it also carries an enormous amount of information.
Be sure to list each device, and where to find files, password information and user ID’s so that your executor will be able to gain access.
Talk to a Digital Expert
There are many companies and websites that are cropping up that can help you get organized, legally select an executor, and keep track of your information so that family members can gain access to the information they will need should something happen to you, or vice-versa.
Some great suggestions are :
- US Legal Wills – Digital wills
- Burke & Wills – Creation of digital will
- Legacy Locker – Repository for digital property
- Digital Undertakers – online digital organizing
- Secure Safe online storage – Online storage for files/passwords, etc.
The most important message here is to get a handle on our digital data, and force us to review and address the hordes of information each of us have out there in cyberspace.
Getting yourself organized will make life better for you, and your loved ones.