Digital Information Expert:
Death and Digital Assets!

Electronic Evidence / Computer Forensics Articles

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By Scott Greene

It is inevitable, one day you will die. Modern science may someday cure this flaw in the human body, but for now we know that at some point, we will cease to be alive. This brings about a flurry of various costs and fees (dying can be expensive) and your possessions will be given to your next of kin. But what happens to your digital possessions? As we have touched upon in previous newsletters, anything that goes on the Internet, stays on the Internet. It is a vast digital elephant that never forgets. But you can limit this once you die.

Odds are your loved ones will have little or no use for your email and other digital information (social network, Youtube videos, Blogger account, etc.), so Google has introduced their Inactive Account Manager (IAM). IAM is a horrible acronym for this, but its theory is simple: after you set this feature up, if you do not login to the system after a particular amount of time, or a trusted person instructs them to, Google will systematically delete your account and all the data with it.

Google will first send you an alert, usually to your cell phone via text, before your account is deemed “inactive”, which you can set to be anywhere from 3-12 months. If you don’t answer this text, Google will notify up to 10 people that your account is account to be deleted, and ask them what they want to have happen. They can either save your data, or delete it. Alternatively, you can tell Google not to share anything, and just delete the account without anyone being aware.

Evidence Solutions, Inc. also recommends that you keep a printed copy of your usernames and passwords for Google, FaceBook and other social media, and store it with your will. With instructions as to what you want to have happen with your data. For specifics, please refer to the next two articles:

Digital Assets and Powers of Attorney.
Digital Assets and Wills

Evidence Solutions, Inc.

Complex Electronic Evidence in PLAIN English.

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Related Articles & Pages:

Death and Digital Assets: Powers of Attorney

Death and Digital Assets: Wills

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