Have you ever imagined what happens to your Facebook chats, emails, passwords, usernames, different accounts (Digital asset) when you are gone. I mean when you are dead? This is one sad part of life that is inevitable, everybody must die one day.
This subject is a reality but appears not to be positive to think about, however, your digital footprint could be in jeopardy when you are no more. The issues of privacy, permission, and security are usually critical in as much as we have made technology a reliability tool to live our lives.
Even when you are alive some people somewhere try to hack into your into your privacy without any form of permission, which in some cases dents your online reputation or leads to colossal loss, let alone of when you are dead.
The term “digital footprint, otherwise known as digital shadow refers to one’s distinct and traceable digital activities, data and communication occupied on the internet and other digital devices.
Your digital footprint is usually created when data is collected without the user knowing (passive footprint) or when personal data is released voluntarily by a user, to share information about oneself on the internet.
In a research carried by Lillian Edward, a lecturer at the University of Strathclyde, he looked into life after death, what one needs to know, to ensure you are secure
“Our bank details, social media accounts and other details in our devices will all live on after we are gone.”
After a series of examinations and debates on the study few months back “The Digital Asset Act” took effect, an Act which enables a person to specify in writing who he or she grants legal consent (permission) over his or her digital shadow, after death.
This development has triggered many technology firms to come up with their data after death control policies.
For instance, Facebook allows an account holder choose a “legal contact” (the person to manage their account), after which a memorialization request must have been submitted (Declaring the owner’s death).
Another tech firm that has this in place is Google, it called theirs “inactive account manager”, where the account holder has the right to assign a manager or ask for their footprint to be deleted.
What Internet Users Should do
All internet users should once in a while search their name on Google and check various social media account settings.
From the result you get, delete or make private any data you know you will not be happy see in the future when released.
Further, pick up a digital asset inventory worksheet and write down account information of your devices, emails, virtual-currency, and websites that you own and keep in a safe place where your family, executor or power of attorney can access it; and let it reflect your data wishes, on who to take control.
It is good we plan this because our digital footprint can impact our reputation and security. And when we make our lives public, it’s hard to get it back or make private.