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Have You Thought About Your Digital Afterlife?

Have You Thought About Your Digital Afterlife?

Can I share a tip with you?  If part of your daily social media activities is to comment on those that are celebrating a work anniversary on LinkedIn, then please read this quick story before clicking the congrats button.

As part of my daily routine for LinkedIn, I visit the connections area.  I go through my network to congratulate those who are having a birthday, and those that are celebrating a new job (always careful with this one and check that it is a real job first!).  I particularly like the “work anniversary” section as these appear every year, and it's a great way to keep top of mind with your online friends.

Last year, around 7am, I was working through the connections area and noticed that someone who I used to network with at BNI for many years was celebrating 24 years with his company.  At the time, I remember thinking how strange it was that no-one else had written congratulations, but I jumped straight in and waffled on about “I hope you are ok, and that life is treating you well.  I can't believe that you have been working at XXX for 24 years – time flies eh?”  – Even now I cringe!  Within minutes, the messages were coming in thick and fast.  Did I not know that Andrew had been suffering from cancer and passed away about six months previously?  Nope!  My inbox was constantly going ping, ping, ping!

I removed the comment with a shameful face, but it did make me think about what actions I will be taking when the times comes for me to say goodbye to this world.   Here are three tips that I would like to share with you to get you thinking about the future.

#1 – If I die

Have you heard of If I Die?  It's free software where you can write notes to loved ones.  These private and personal notes are encrypted and will be sent on to your loved ones when you die.  I do have some concerns with regards to the password section of this site – please do not put your passwords into this free software, but certainly have a think about using the letters section.  I really liked this idea.

If I die

#2 – 1Password

I started using 1Password in October 2016.  My husband and my best friend both have the main password to access this software.  1Password is just brilliant when it comes to online security, and I hold absolutely everything here.  From credit cards, driving licence details, passwords for all of my online accounts (and clients'), as well as private notes of what I would like my family to do when I pass away.  The best thing about 1Passwod is that you can use it on any device (iPhone, Mac, Windows, Android) – and it synchronises across everything.  My wishes for when I die change on a fairly regular basis and I was not keen on updating my will every six months!  This is a great way to keep your documents up to date, and my husband knows exactly where to get the information and what to do with it.

Similar products are Lastpass, RoboForm, PasswordBox.

#3 – Facebook Memorial

Did you know that your relatives can turn your Facebook page into a memorial site once you have passed?  In my opinion, I like this idea, rather than everything being deleted.  My daughter will still be able to see the photos of our holidays and adventures together, and show her children and grandchildren.  I appreciate that some of you may think that this idea is a little bit creepy, but it will hopefully make you think.  What do you want to happen to your Facebook page when you pass?  Whether you want the page deleted, or whether you wish it to be a memorial site, you still need to make sure that your loved ones know your wishes.   You can find out more about memorialised account on Facebook here.

If your Facebook profile is turned into a memorial site, then you need to be aware of some of the features that are removed from the site:-

  • The profile is no longer accessible by public search.
  • Only those profiles that are connected to the deceased will be able to see the account.  Many youngsters will not be connected to their parents, so therefore, the parents will not be able to see the account details and what people are saying about their child. (Have a think about that).
  • Facebook does not let memorial pages appear in the “suggestions” area.  In other words, the algorithm won't suggest that you “reconnect with” a dead user whose page has been memorialized.
  • You will not be able to tag that person in any post or photo once the profile has been memorialized.
  • All automated app activity is instantly removed.  For example, you may have an automated daily horoscope posting to your page. This will cease immediately.

I am hoping that everyone reading this post has already written a Will.  If not, then you need to put that straight to the top of your list!  A Will is fantastic for your worldly possessions, but you also need to consider your digital possessions.

Your social networking sites (and there will be a few on them!) email accounts, eBay, Amazon, Internet banking, as well as your shared photos, videos and personal blog posts – they all continue to exist on the Internet. It's a bit like being an actor or a musician, the films, TV programs and music stays alive well after the boat has sailed.    Have you given any thought to how you are going to manage your death as well as your life?  (Bit depressing – sorry!).

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