How To Plan Your Digital Afterlife When You Die

26/06/2015 1:33 PM IST | Updated 15/07/2016 8:25 AM IST

There are over 1.4 billion monthly users on Facebook alone, and they are all going to die some day. An average Internet user leaves an immense digital footprint on the cloud, on social media platforms like Facebook, Google, Instagram.

It’s a good idea to appoint a digital undertaker who will take care of your online presence in the unforeseen circumstance that you meet your maker. Fortunately, most large social media services have made provisions to their user policy to cope with death. We take a look at various approaches and the best practices available.

Facebook - Add A Legacy Contact

legacy contact

Facebook rolled out a Legacy Contact feature in February, this year, which lets you nominate a friend or family member to administrate your account on your behalf. Unfortunately, this feature hasn’t been rolled out in India, Facebook’s second biggest user base after the US, where the company is busy pushing its initiative. You're greeted with the following message instead: “A legacy contact is someone you choose to look after your account if it's memorialised. This feature isn't available in your country yet.”

For now, Facebook lets you enable the Trusted Contacts feature to set up a recovery process for your account.

Google: Set Up Inactive Account Manager

You can enable this feature in your Google Account settings, which lets you delete all your data on Google’s suite of services including Blogger, Gmail, Drive, Docs, and YouTube after a period of inactivity.

google trusted contact

This feature also lets you set a timeout period following which your account details are deleted or passed on to a trusted contact, and lets you choose what data to share with them.

Twitter - Request Deactivation

Twitter doesn’t have a feature to nominate a friend or family member in case of death, but lets family members or authorised representatives send a request to have the account deactivated. But a loved one would have to do this after you have departed.

twitter deceased

LinkedIn - Request Removal Of Profile

LinkedIn allows immediate and extended family members and non-family members remove the profile of a deceased member by submitting their details (date of death, links to obituary or relevant news article) in a form.

linkedin deceased

WhatsApp - Delete Your Account

WhatsApp accounts can be deleted by tapping on "Delete My Account" in Menu > Settings > Account. Deleting the account removes erases message history and removes you from all your WhatsApp groups.

Share Passwords For iTunes, Kindle Ebooks

Your Amazon ebook and iTunes purchases (books, music, movies, apps) are single-user only. Both the companies do not allow you to bequeath your purchases to anyone else. If you would like loved ones to access your account, leave your ID and password for these accounts in your will.

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