Memories have always been kept as physical objects. But in this internet age, nearly every one will leave a digital footprint whether they want to or not.
The purpose of your digital legacy is to manage this digital footprint after you die, to create easy access to assets and to preserve memories behind for your loved ones.
What is a Digital Legacy?
Digital legacy refers to all online accounts, digital assets, internet profiles, email addresses, social media accounts, financial services, gaming, online shopping accounts, photos, music and books that are left behind when a person dies.
Planning one’s digital legacy can be an emotional process because it requires contemplation of your own mortality. However, it is just as important as writing a will or preplanning a funeral.
Steps To Manage Your Digital Legacy
Take an Inventory of your Digital Assets and Devices
Set a time frame to sort your digital assets and devices. This would include organizing your different accounts (email, social media, utilities, financial assets, cloud storage, websites, product subscriptions) and essential files located on each device.
You may have to delete, consolidate or memorialize each account. Google’s inactive account manager allows you to make a plan for your death. Facebook allows you to add a legacy contact who can manage your account when you have died. Instagram has similar memorialising and deletion features.
Choose a digital Legacy Manager
Your appointee has to be trustworthy and tech savvy. The person must be capable of cleaning and reorganizing your digital assets.
Leave detailed instructions on how to open each device and access the data. Ensure that the manager has access to every username, password and authentication question required to access the sites.
Companies such as Permanent Legacy Foundation and Legacy Box offer legacy preservation services. Legal experts recommend naming your digital executor in your will.
Planning what will happen to your digital footprint when you’re no longer here ensures that your information is easily and responsibly taken care of.