Now that we spend a significant part of our daily life in the virtual world, it is no surprise to see most of us carrying a digital legacy. Taking care of digital legacy is extremely important and a great responsibility. However, what is a digital legacy, many might wonder and how does it matter? Well, just like our physical assets like home, vehicles and other passions, we all carry a digital legacy in this digital age. We are talking about online banking accounts, social media accounts and other digital depositories that hold valuable items. With millions of Facebook users and other social media network account holders, one wonders what happens to their digital accounts and data. This is where the issue of protecting your digital legacy steps in.
Hundreds and thousands of Facebook users die worldwide every year. And if those account holders are not clear as to what happens to their accounts or who handles them once they are no more, those online assets will be left in limbo. Thus, it is essential to protect your digital legacy and specify how it needs to be handled after one dies. It is essential to plan things and get them under control before it’s too late.
Protecting your digital legacy matters a lot as the companies will retain ownership of all the data left behind. If those online accounts suddenly get locked down, you could lose your critical medical or legal records, money, and even precious memories forever! The digital data needs to be handed over into responsible hands and your loved ones to once you pass away. Just like one plan for their cremation services and process, it is essential to safeguard the digital legacy and provide clear guidelines on what happens to your accounts and data once you pass away.
One should be aware of the inherent facilities available with various online accounts. It is known as “inactive account manager” with Google or “legacy contact,” with Facebook. Many more cloud companies are gradually adding their own version to the mix so that the account holder can automatically grant access to whomever they want within your account. Thus, one should use online tools and services that can ensure that the right person gets access to the appropriate passwords once you are gone.
Simple steps to protect your digital legacy:
- Make a list of your digital data, and it can include just about anything, your music, your money, your books or family photos.
- Nominate your digital executor and assign someone the legal responsibility of your digital account.
- Make a reference of your digital asset list and digital executor in your will.
- Appoint a representative whom you can trust
- Be aware of service agreements and specific requirements as per the laws.
If you have more questions and need clarity See SunLife learn A to Z on protecting your digital legacy.
While the state and federal laws related to online accounts and digital assets are still developing, as a digital account holder, you must take proactive steps to safeguard your data online and ensure it remains in right hands. Protecting your digital legacy may not be the most pleasant topic but is important nevertheless.