As we shift to an all-digital culture, personal heirlooms like photos, movies, letters, and financial assets are increasingly created and stored in digital form.Email, multimedia, website, blogs and social media accounts are examples of your digital life. But what happens to your online presence when you pass away?
Unless you act to preserve it, your digital identity may be at risk. You can take steps now to preserve online items like videos, journals and photos, as well as other valuable assets. Good planning, organization and secure storage, are the keys to creating and preserving your digital estate.
First, make a thorough inventory of your computers and devices, and the content stored on them. For a template to help you inventory your assets, go to: www.yourdigitalafterlife.com/resources.
Next, back up your computer and all personal devices to safeguard your data using CDs, DVDs, optical media, additional hard drives, or online backup services.
After you inventory and back up your devices and data, consider some of these ways to preserve your digital afterlife or that of a loved one:
- Check the “Terms of Service” for your online service providers.
- Communicate and provide access to your heirs about your digital assets, and provide them with the physical location, usernames, passwords, and usage rights to access your devices, data, and online accounts.
- Obtain secure storage for your final wishes, Will, or Estate Plan. You can use a safety deposit box or secure location in your home, or a posthumous email service to create final instructions to your digital executor or heirs.
- Create a trigger event that releases your final wishes from storage into action upon your death.
Read the Passare.com eBook, “How to Manage Your Digital Assets” for more information on preserving your digital assets. For more information on current laws affecting digital assets, go to: www.thedigitalestateresource.com.
The technology for how to manage and preserve your digital afterlife is continually evolving. While the Internet can’t make you immortal, with some planning, your digital legacy could have a lasting and rewarding afterlife.