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Preparing for your digital afterlife

By 2nd February 2018 No Comments

You’re hopefully not going to kick the bucket anytime soon, however, as we create wills to prepare what happens to us after we die, we should take care of our digital selves. Think about what could happen to personal files on your cloud storage account in the wrong hands?

This blog will look at the various ways you can leave your accounts in the right hands once you’ve left this world.

Google

Google lets you decide who to contact if you haven’t logged into your account for a period of time. You can choose up to 10 friends and family members who will be notified and you can choose who is able to access your account.

To set this up sign into your account and go here. Just follow the steps and you’re sorted.

Microsoft

If you have a Hotmail, Live, MSN or Outlook account, family members need to go through Microsoft’s Next of Kin process. They will release your email data to your next of kin, they won’t get your password or be able to access your account.

Yahoo

Yahoo’s Terms of Service states that they will not grant anyone access to your account once you pass on. This means that you would have to give your next of kin your login information. Your family, however, can terminate the account once you have passed on.

Facebook

Facebook offers a service which they call “Legacy Contact”.

You can add, change or remove your legacy contact in your account’s General Settings at any time.

To add a legacy contact:

  1. Click the triangle in the top right of Facebook and select Settings
  2. Click Manage Account
  3. Type in a friend’s name and click Add
  4. To let your friend know they’re now your legacy contact, click Send

To change or remove a legacy contact, follow steps 1–2 above, then click Remove. From there, you can add a new legacy contact if you’d like.

If your account is memorialized, your legacy contact will be notified. Learn more about what a legacy contact can do.

Twitter

Twitter, like Yahoo, does not grant anyone access to your account after you die. You will have to give a trusted person your login details. Your next of kin will need to fill in a form to cancel your account.

Instagram

Even though Instagram is owned by Facebook, it doesn’t offer the same Legacy contact options. However, your family can apply to have your account memorialize your account.

Password Managers

Even the accounts that do let you designate a digital heir don’t let people fully access your stuff after you die. If you want to leave full access to your accounts to someone after you pass away, your best bet is to use a password manager with a legacy feature.

LastPass has an Emergency Access feature that lets you give trusted contacts access to your password vault. To add a trusted contact, open your LastPass account and click Emergency Access. Click Give Emergency Access and type in your contact’s email address. Choose a wait time for how long that contact will have to wait when they request emergency access (anywhere from “immediately” to 30 days). If your contact requests emergency access, you will have this amount of time to reject their request before they are automatically granted access.

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