How to Manage Your Passwords From the Grave

From Facebook to bank accounts, online afterlife a thorny legal area
By Jane Yager,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 25, 2010 4:43 AM CST
How to Manage Your Passwords From the Grave
After your offline death, your online life goes on.   (Shutter Stock)

These days grieving relatives have a new problem to contend with: managing the Facebook, Flickr, and eBay accounts of the dead. As people trust ever more of their lives to the Internet, from email and online banking to identities on Second Life, very few have considered what exactly will happen to all that online data when they die, the Washington Post reports—and new businesses are popping up to help the heirs of the dearly departed access everything from password-protected photographs to money.

The online lives of the dead are a murky legal area, experts say, with practices varying widely by company: Google will give family members your password if they show a death certificate, but Yahoo wants you to specify in your will who gets your password. The offers of companies like Legacy Locker and range from storing your passwords and log-in information for your digital executor to letting you write emails to be automatically sent on your behalf after your death.

(More death stories.)

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