Tim Herrera with The New York Times reports:
You’ve probably thought about what will happen to your finances, your possessions and maybe even your real estate when you die. But what about your Facebook account? Or your hard-drive backups?
For the past two decades, most of us in the modern world have gradually shifted our central living space online. That’s 20-ish years of documenting our real-life experiences while also creating entirely new versions of ourselves in countless places online.
These digital lives are basically immortal, so you may as well figure out while you’re still alive what will happen to them after you’re gone.
Here's what you should know about the websites and services that offer help:
Whom do you trust to mind your central online presence after your death? That’s probably the person you want to be your Facebook legacy contact.
This person will be able to write a post that will remain at the top of your profile, update your profile photo and respond to friend requests. You can also allow that person to download an archive of your public activity (including posts, photos and “likes”), but he or she can’t read your messages, so your most intimate secrets will be safe.
Alternatively, you can set your account to delete everything once Facebook is notified of your death.
Google lets you choose up to 10 people to be the executors of your account once you die or your account becomes inactive via its inactive account manager feature.
To set this up, choose an amount of time between sign-ins for your account to be designated “inactive.” Once that threshold is met (for example, you don’t sign into any Google service for a certain number of months), your chosen contact will get a prewritten email from you with, presumably, your wishes for your account.
Twitter has no equivalent to a legacy contact or a way to plan for your online data after your death. It does, however, let a “verified immediate family member of the deceased” delete your account if that person can provide your death certificate and other official documents.
Should the digital footprint we leave behind really be a point of great concern? What possible difference will that make to you once you’ve died? But the condition of your eternal soul will make a difference, an eternal difference.
What the New York Times will never publish is an article entitled, “Are You Spiritually Ready for Your Death?” The world thinks we should be more concerned about our digital lives than we are about our spiritual lives, about things that don’t really matter than things that do.
Don’t be so foolish! Flip your worries!!
"But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well" (Matthew 6:33).