My Wonderful Life

Your Online Legacy: To be or not to be

posted on 8/30/11 by Staff

As much as we hate to admit it, a lot of our information is online, be it for personal or work-related reasons. For the most part, we don’t think about what happens to our online identity after we pass. For instance, have you thought about what happens to your blog, your online photo albums, or your social media profiles after you’re gone? This “whatever happens, happens” attitude doesn’t have to be the norm. We have a choice when it comes to deciding how our online presence lives on, or how it could, like us, cease to exist.

Some websites have a plan of action for exactly this issue, however most do not. Facebook, for example, will turn your Facebook profile into an online memorial, which means that only people who are currently your friends have access to your information and your photos. A family member can also choose whether to shut down the page entirely. You could be making these decisions for your family members now, to relieve them from the emotional burden of deciding what to keep online.

Here are some things you may have online that, upon your death, could be of benefit to your family if they had access. Keep in mind that there may be certain things that you just want kept private, no matter the circumstance. However here are some things to think about when filling out your MWL book, or when you consider how much or how little of an online legacy you want to leave behind.

Social Media Profile(s)

i.e. Facebook, Google +, Twitter

You can choose whether or not your profile will become a memorial. A lot of friends and family who have lost loved ones have found this to be a very comforting way to remember those who are no longer with us. They can post memories themselves and read the thoughts and prayers of others who also go to their profile to share stories.

Online Photo Albums

Some of your online photos might be on social media sites like Facebook, but for those of you who have more personal albums on Picasa, Flickr, or Shutterfly, you might want to consider sharing your passwords with family or putting passwords on MWL’s book or a password keeper. You don’t want all your wonderful photos to be lost forever!

Personal Blogs

i.e. Blogger, Tumblr, Wordpress, Posterous

Your blog might be one of the more personal accounts you have online. If you have a final blog post you want released following your death, you will have to make sure that someone knows your login information so they can post it for you.

Some blogs are a bit more complicated than others, so if posting requires instructions, you may want to leave those behind as well.

Online Services with Automatic Payments

For sites like Netflix, Hulu, or Spotify that have payments set up automatically, you will want to let someone know what companies may be charging your accounts automatically every month. Even though credit card information eventually expires, you don’t want to be paying for services you aren’t using after you’re gone.

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