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A Fond Farewell to the Virtual You

Thasha Aly considers our online personae, and how to make sure our loved one’s wishes are respected for their digital, as well as tangible assets. 

So many of us have an online persona nowadays. With Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn…the list goes on. How can we safely manage these accounts (and their various passwords) securely? And once we pass, what happens with the information on these accounts? Can our loved ones access our digital information even after we have passed? And what do we actually want to happen with all those memories and data? Life could be so much easier if we knew what our loved ones truly want to happen after they are gone. And, equally as important, how to access their important accounts with ease through a secure platform. Cue, Waseeya.

Password Protected

We have a lot of passwords for things online. There are your email accounts (plural), your store accounts (that you signed up for to get a discount on an order all those months ago), your council tax logins (to sort the bin collections), your healthcare logins…honestly the list is endless. Did you know, the average person has to maintain 90 (or more) accounts that require passwords? Let’s say that again, 90. So, digitalguardian.com decided to find out how on earth they remember them all. With the majority of respondents in a survey declaring that they just write down their passwords on a piece of paper, it was only 6.6% that actually stored their passwords online in a safe repository. 

But it isn’t just knowing or remembering a password, is it? Password hygiene is now key to our online presence. Regularly updating and maintaining unguessable (and therefore easily forgettable) passwords, all the while ensuring they’re not the same across all your accounts. Not many of us do it effectively. So, why not make that ‘hygiene’ more doable, by keeping all your robust passwords in Waseeya’s safe and secure Vault? It will save you writing them down on your laptop – or, even worse, on a sticky note you can no longer find. 

Whilst we’re thinking about online presence – a 2020 study discovered that 90% of people have no idea what happens to their digital stuff when they die. And a further 27% of the UK want their social media profiles to be deleted after their death. What will we do to minimise the stress of removing or maintaining our digital footprints after we’re gone? It’s time to have some frank conversations. It would be worthwhile sitting down with your significant other to find out what they want to do with their digital (and actual) property when they pass. We’ve devised some key questions for you to ask over dinner one day – not your average conversation starter:

  1. Where have you stored your important personal information? How do I access it safely after you pass? (Our Vault’s 256 bit encryption will help with that.)
  2. What do you want to do with all your online presence after you’re gone? Do you want an In Memoriam page to be set up? Or, to delete all your accounts? Should I keep the content you created? (Most sites have a Memorialisation option on their settings page)
  3. Which accounts do you want to keep live? 
  4. Do you want me to contact anyone on your behalf to announce your passing, and how should I do that for you?
  5. Are there any important online bills that need to be paid? Do you have any online utility accounts that need to be transferred or closed?

It’s a lot, but it’s important to do so that we feel we’re respecting the memories of our loved ones, and their intellectual property too. Start your journey with Waseeya to finally store and organise all your key online documents in one secure place. That way, when the time comes, your loved ones aren’t scrambling to access everything online that matters without you. Make that farewell to you and your online persona a little more fond.

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