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What you can do to secure your digital afterlife

Posted at 1:24 PM, Mar 15, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-15 15:24:33-04

Two things are true in almost all of our lives: We have a ton of digital assets from photos to emails and one day we will pass on.

With several social media accounts, email and smart phones, loved ones will need to access all of it.

In this Booming Forward, brought to you by Optum, there are things you can do to secure your digital afterlife.

First, think about giving your family members access to your phone.

Apple recently introduced a "Legacy Contact" feature which allows your heirs access to your iPhone or iPad. You can add "Legacy Contacts" under the settings. But, they'll still need your date of birth, death certificate and some other information.

With Android, it's trickier — you need to store the password in a secure place like a safe deposit box. As long as your family can get into your device, they can find everything like email accounts, banking and other important personal information.

Second, think about giving your family members access to your social media accounts.

Currently only Facebook offers a Legacy Contact - found under memorialization in the settings tab.

For the rest of social media, experts suggest a workaround using a password service. There are several different ones out there. They cost about $25-$35 a year.

Third, think about giving your family members access to your email.

Gmail makes it easy to leave a legacy contact. They'll automatically be notified when the account is inactive for a specified period of time. So instead of a death certificate, Google is saying that if the account goes inactive, that's good enough for them.

For other email services, use either a password service, or having access to your smart phone is the best move to secure your digital legacy.