Have you ever thought about what happens to your digital self that exists on e-mail, Facebook, EBay, PayPal, Etsy, Pinterest, online banking, and other sites when you die? There is a surprising amount of information about each of us stored electronically on our computers and on the web. Technology companies are just beginning to develop tools to help loved ones gain access that privacy laws currently restrict.
The best way to ensure that your digital accounts and information are handled the way you want is to create a digital plan.
Steps to Creating a Digital Legacy Plan
- Choose a Digital Executor who will take care of your online affairs. This should be someone you trust. Being technically savvy is a plus.
- KEEP A LIST, including user names and passwords, in a safe place. Be sure to include:
- Banking and financial sites and online bank accounts
- E-mail accounts
- Social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram
- Photo sharing sites such as Shutterfly and Picasa
- Online back-up systems
- File sharing services such as Dropbox
- Financial sites, such as PayPal
- Shopping sites, such as EBay and Amazon
- Media sites, such as Netflix, YouTube, and Hulu
- Frequent flier and travel sites
- Any other online sites to which you belong
- Document how you want your online accounts handled. Do you want them preserved or do you want them closed? Note, some accounts such as Facebook, are impossible to close or have deleted.
- Keep this plan up to date. Make this a semiannual or annual task.