Miranda Combs of WKYT TV did a piece on what happens to our online lives after we pass. One commenter to the web version of the piece asked, “Who cares?”, as they will be dead; well, your loved ones care and that makes this worth thinking about a bit.
The television piece dwells a lot on the legal aspects of this and we (happily) admit to not being lawyers, but we think there are technical and practical things that can be done to make our inevitable demise a bit easier on our heirs. For example, the use of a password manager that allows you to share your account passwords with others in your family (or perhaps friends). This will allow someone that you trust to help out, not just if you pass away but if for any reason you can’t access them yourself. Password managers such as LastPass and DashLane will keep track of your passwords and allow you to share them selectively. Since a password manager is about the only way anyone today can properly deal with the many and varied passwords and access methods we have to our online accounts, they are really a necessary part of anyone’s personal IT tools today anyway.
As I state in Miranda’s piece, you may be surprised to know that you don’t own your e-books or online music. The fact that you basically take these things with you may actually be a blessing. It can be quite an emotional struggle to clean out a loved-one’s library or other physical collection.