I have a Last Will & Testament. A Living Will. Several different forms of Power of Attorney. All of which are designed to take care of my physical life and belongings when I’m either incapacitated or die.
But what happens to my digital life and data?
I’m not really sure why I was thinking about this. What happens if I get killed by a flaming toilet seat from space? If there’s one thing that was drilled into my head in Boy Scouts, it was:
Oddly enough, as I typed that, I wonder if that’s what made me so pessimistic and negative about so many things? I’ll have to ponder that for a bit….
Anyway, back to what I was originally pondering.
I feel that I’m not prepared. At least for the digital afterlife.
I do all the paperwork in our household: our personal finances, both of our personal business finances, and the finances for our two businesses. All of which means I have a plethora of online accounts: banking, bills, vendors, etc., all of which have usernames and passwords to access.
I also manage several domains, and have several different email accounts. Then there’s all the social media sites I am a part of: this blog, Twitter, Facebook, tumblr, Google+, flickr, YouTube, Gowalla, foursquare, and only the FSM knows what other sites. What will happen with those accounts? And who will let my online friends know of my demise in a proper and respectful manner, even if I do break my neck slipping on a puddle of lube the Husbear failed to clean up?
And it’s not like the Husbear (or probably anyone else) could guess my passwords. I’m not one of those people who use the same simple password for every site I visit. I like my passwords complex, just like my men. 😉 I essentially had god privileges with my former corporate IT job, so having complex passwords was always drilled into our heads.
Mostly because I tend to not remember *all* of them myself, I do keep an encrypted database with my current account information in it: usernames, passwords and all those damned annoying challenge questions and answers. But how would anyone know how and where to get into that? Should I keep the access information in a sealed envelope in a safe deposit box just in case?
What about all the computer gear I have around. The Husbear has finally just learned where the power switch is for the DSL modem. How is he going to know how things are connected and interconnected? After all, he’s the first to call me when “the Internet is down!” Should I draw a diagram out? I know the way I do things and the way other tech heads do things are never ever the same. Would someone have to dismantle my network just to make sense of it? Or could they?
And what about all the digital media I have: all the digital photos I have taken over the years; all the photos, videos, movies and television episodes I’ve “collected” (some of which may or may not be porn). Who will know where that is all stored, and who it should go to, and what should be scrubbed?
These are the kinds of thoughts I have at night when I should be sleeping.
Not to sound like the invitational at the end of a church sermon, but I’m curious: Have you given any thought to this for yourself? Is there someone who will take care of your digital life and data for you when you finally shuffle off this mortal coil? Will they even know where to start?
Until next time...