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How to maintain a digital legacy (and why)

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Photo: mrmohock ((((Shutterstock).

Over the last few decades, more and more of our lives have gone online. With the advent of social media and cloud storage, what was once analog or physical has become digital. In most respects this is great. It’s easy to share and communicate, it’s simpler and more powerful to create, and you can express yourself with just a few mouse clicks or finger taps. For example, the days of mailing resumes on luxurious paper are gone. Today we are spending time building great LinkedIn profiles and portfolio websites.

But as more and more of our lives end online, the question of what happens to everything when we move out of the territory of the earth begins to emerge. It’s not just asking your peers to remove the porn hiding place when you die unexpectedly. Digital Legacy includes almost every aspect of modern life, without naming or organizing photos from your cell phone. Media followers you have built (and probably monetized) hard. Some of us have put a lot of effort into our Facebook page and continue to be a powerful monument to our lives, with photos, correspondence and major events. Similarly, you may want your children and grandchildren to have access to your life records. You have an ancestral photo album or journal. From music files to digital movies to cryptocurrencies, there’s also the problem of what you paid for. Who will control them when you are gone?

What really cares about our digital legacy is how persistent they prove to be. If you’re no longer here to keep it, you can edit or change it, or just delete it. Twitter is now The official verified accounts of the deceased celebrities are scattered But for some reason it keeps posting fresh content, but you don’t have to be a celebrity to want to make some remarks about how your online presence will be used after you leave. After moving to the next level, here are some things to consider when maintaining and controlling your digital legacy:

Take inventory

The first step in dealing with digital legacy is to understand its scope. Adding devices, accounts, and services is very easy and you may not be aware of the amount of digital life you have accumulated over the years. So, first of all, make a list of all your digital assets (and use a note-taking app to increase your metaness). Perhaps you want to think about:

  • Websites and blogs you maintain
  • Your social media account
  • Emails archived over the years
  • Photos, music files, ebooks, and videos
  • Cloud storage file
  • Games on platforms like Steam
  • Health record
  • Digital subscription

This is not a complete list, but you understand the idea. Think of passwords, biometrics, or other things that someone needs or might want to access when you’re gone to provide access.


The important thing to consider is that because digital legacy is such a new concept, there are few laws and traditions surrounding digital legacy. Other aspects of our lives, such as our finances and physical property, are dominated by a dense layer of law that dictates what happens under a wide variety of scenarios. But your Facebook profile is a completely different issue.

First, choose someone who will be your “digital executor” and discuss with them what that means. This may be the same person you have nominated to handle your will or other issues, or it may be a person specially selected for the task. Once their agreement is reached, it is advisable to communicate their roles and responsibilities in writing. Make sure they know how to trigger the process if you die (perhaps they need to contact your lawyer or you are safe to list all account information Place).

Companies are gradually making this easier. On Facebook Legacy contacts Someone who can maintain your “memorial account” after your passage, and both Google When Apple Now you can set some parameters about who can take charge of your account after you leave (or become incapacitated). More and more social media platforms and digital companies are on this route, but not all are, so research needs to be done.And there are companies like lastly It will help you protect your digital heritage for a fee. It’s great if you can appoint a caretaker, but if you can’t, you need to allow someone to access and manage your account. That is, you need to allow access to passwords and other security. It may be as easy as keeping your spouse or trusted friend up to date with your password, or it may involve adding provisions to your legal will. Your approach will vary greatly depending on whether you are giving away 5,000 uncategorized photos of your cat or something of more value.

Here are some things to consider:

  • device. While digital legacy concerns tend to focus on cloud storage and social media, keep in mind that devices are a treasure trove of digital assets and are often very secure. If you specify someone as a digital executor, make sure that person has access to your phone, desktop, laptop, tablet, or other device you need.
  • password. Make sure you keep your password and account information up to date. I had a hard time setting up a digital legacy, but if I changed my password dozens of times without updating the information, the posthumous person I chose would have even more trouble handling your wishes. increase.
  • Purpose. Finally, be very clear about what you are doing, as part of a discussion with Digital Executors, and as an instruction you leave to them. I want Occur. If you don’t want your social media profiles to be a permanent monument to your life, make it clear that you want them to be shut down. If you want to do something with a photo, an unpublished novel, or a social media post, express those wishes in clear words and don’t let the executor guess.

Don’t forget the economic side

When it comes to digital finance, things get a little more complicated.

If you own a cryptocurrency, you have the private key you need to access it, and you probably have that private key stored in Hot or cold wallet.. To verify that the specified executors are accessible, you need to make sure that those cues have their keys. A cold wallet stored in a safe place (which is a physical one) can be a solution, but be careful-you got your private key while you were alive. Anyone can do most of what you want with your cipher- Also Dead — and there’s not much you can do about it.

If you have accounts in locations like Starbucks that automatically “reload” when your balance is low, you are more likely to have your money loaded into them. The digital account will also require passwords for these accounts. Usually there is no easy way to move that money. In many cases, you will need to contact your company’s customer service to start the process and provide the required documentation. It’s up to you if this is a subway card worth $ 13. Regular “gift cards” are more or less considered the same as cash, so you usually don’t need to transfer them.

For banking apps such as Venmo, Paypal and Chime, the executor can use login to transfer the remaining funds to the bank account and close the account from the website. Once the money is returned to your check or savings account, it will be processed through normal legal proceedings.

One thing is certain: we will all die someday. This means leaving behind a large number of digital files and online accounts. If you spend a little time planning what will happen to all of that, your loved ones (and your lawyer) will be spared a lot of trouble.

How to maintain a digital legacy (and why)

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