Have you ever considered writing your digital testament, and ensure the fate of your legacy online when you’re gone? Probably not.
It’s not weird It is one of the most surprising mechanisms of evolution and survival of the human being. We see ourselves as a kind of immortal superheroes that nothing bad is going to happen to us. Bad things only happen to others. Or I’ll worry about them if they happen.
We smoke because we are sure that we will not get cancer. We drive with two more drinks because we are not going to have an accident, and many other follies that are covered under the umbrella of “that will not happen to me”. Until, of course, it happens …
Thinking about our death is unpleasant and our mind tends to avoid it. It is a defense mechanism that allows us to be happier, and take more risks in life. An effective, although foolish mechanism of evolution.
But reason and logic invite us to think about what will happen to our possessions, to our legacy, when we are no longer here. Before you only had to worry about the car, the house, or the debts. Now we have to think about our online legacy. It is time to consider writing a digital testament.
A life on the Net
Internet has barely been with us for 25 years, but its influence on our lives is growing, to the point that a very important part of our possessions and memories are on the Net, or on a computer’s hard drive. It is what is known as the fingerprint.
Stop thinking for a few seconds how many of your valuable possessions are associated with the Internet. There are banks that only work on the Net, and you can only access them through online accounts. Maybe you have some bitcoins stored in a digital wallet. Your movie collection, Steam or PlayStation Store games, Microsoft Office keys and other online entertainment content that you have purchased over the years, and is associated with your accounts whose password you only know about. Maybe you have bought space in Dropbox, Gdrive and other online stores and there you keep valuable documents. Your collection of photos, videos and other sentimental content that you have accumulated all your life.
There are so many valuable possessions that we keep on the Internet or in digital format, that we, or our loved ones, would be hurt if they were lost. And that is what will probably happen if we die and do not pass on to someone the keys and access to that content.
If the passwords are lost, it is almost impossible to access the accounts. And even with them, it can be complicated that a certain service allows us to access private content without authorization from the deceased. In many cases the data and servers are stored in other countries and you have to deal with foreign laws. With the added problem that the supposed heirs may not know what your online legacy is, or what the hell is a bitcoin …
If you consider yourself a responsible person, we will show you what it is and how to make a digital testament.
What is a digital testament?
As with conventional testaments, there are many ways to write a digital testament. The most common is to write a document with all your digital possessions, the keys to access them, and an authorization to a trusted person so you can access all this content when you die.
The simplest thing is to divide the content into groups, and manage it separately:
Service accounts and passwords
Subscription services (which will continue to be collected even after we die, if we do not cancel them)
Bank accounts and other financial funds
Personal content on the Internet (photos, videos, and documents in the cloud)
Personal content in physical format (computers, hard drives, USB drives, mobile phones)
It can be a complicated and time-consuming task, so maybe you should start by writing an emergency digital testament.