Logins for Loved Ones: Getting Your Digital Ducks in A Row
As each of our digital footprints grows larger by the day, safeguarding our personal information is top of mind – but those strong passwords you manage to meticulously create and remember could cause serious problems for your loved ones later. While it’s not something we like to think about, it’s important to consider your digital footprint when working on your will or proactively getting your ducks in a row at any age. Granting access to your digital accounts can provide closure for family and friends, allowing them to manage your online presence and address any necessary tasks, such as closing accounts or updating status messages.
Earlier this year, we offered instructions on how to put together a quick and comprehensive health history from home. Below is our advice for getting your digital ducks in a row.
- Compile all of your passwords and organize them in a safe place. Either physically write them down and lock them up where someone you trust will find them. Or, create a digital file with a password of its own that you share with someone you trust.
- Bank or Credit Card Accounts
- Some digital accounts may have financial implications, like online payment platforms. Providing access details in your will can help your heirs manage these aspects of your estate more effectively.
- Including digital account information in your will ensures that your wishes regarding these assets are legally recognized and followed.
- Social Media Accounts
- Many online platforms have policies in place for managing accounts after the user's death. By providing login details, your loved ones can navigate these processes more easily.
- Doctor, Health Group, or Insurance Portals
- Timely access to digital accounts helps prevent the risk of identity theft or unauthorized access after your passing. This can protect your online legacy and prevent potential misuse of your personal information.
- Bank or Credit Card Accounts
- Safeguard your healthcare and insurance portal login credentials as you would with financial accounts.
- Regularly review your medical records and medication lists for accuracy and report any discrepancies.
- Ensure that someone you trust has access to your emergency contact information.
- Keep a list of important contacts in case of unexpected situations somewhere that can be easily found and accessed.
- Pro tip: Apple and Android phones both have emergency contact features that can be accessed without unlocking your phone, so you can quickly and easily call for help and/or alert emergency contacts of a situation.
In addition to organizing your data, make sure to keep your devices and online accounts safe on a daily basis.
- Keep your phone, computer, and tablet software up-to-date with the latest security updates.
- Use antivirus and/or anti-malware products (like this one) – many are free and easy to use.
- Employ two-factor authentication for all of your online accounts.
It's important to note that the decision to share digital passwords should be made carefully; consider privacy concerns and each platform's specific terms of service.
Overwhelmed by the idea of digital estate planning? We can help – contact us today.