If I’m having this much problems managing my multiple digital presences now, try to imagine what could happen if for example I suddenly croaked.
In my article Get ‘porn buddy’ to clean up your digital debris when you die and its accompanying video, social media expert Adele McAlear, explains that the tangle of digital detritus we leave behind can have far reaching consequences on the lives of our loved ones, friends and even businesses we’re affiliated with.
“You’re Facebook page lives on long after you’re dead and unless arrangements are made other social sites won’t close your account either,” she said.
Conversely, if you haven’t left your account passwords to anyone it would be extremely difficult to open up those accounts.
Imagine if you had a Website that is earning money through ad placements, manuscript or book sales, online donations. Rather than help your family through financial difficulties those funds could be barred from them. Worst if someone else got hold of the password or hacked the system, they could siphon off the money.
What if you were blogging or talking to online communities to promote a company through a social site? If you die and no one in the organization has the password to the site, the company won’t be able to moderate discussion or filter out damaging posts.
Here’s where you need your porn buddy. You’ve got accounts to not so family friendly sites which if ever dug up could bring some embarrassing moments to your loved ones of business colleagues.
Here are a few things to consider when preparing for your digital demise:
1) Determine what it is you want to pass on or get rid of
2) Designate a key person who will be left with account passwords and instructions. This could be a digital executor working under your lawyer, a friend working with your family or a buddy known only to you.
3) Consider money in and money out issues. These are sites that are earning you money or sites that you owe money.
4) Explain to your family your wishes. What may be important for you might be hard to understand for them.
5) Understand the death policies of your social media provider and make arrangements with them early on.
Here are some sites that can help you managed your affairs. They have free and paid services: