How To Manage Your Digital Afterlife?



Managing your digital afterlife isn’t just about data; it’s about caring for the memories and legacy you’ll leave behind across your emails, social media, and online accounts. It’s time to think about how to keep these blossoms thriving, even when you’re not around to tend them.

Understanding Your Digital Afterlife:

Think of your digital presence as a collection of stories. These stories spread across various platforms like Facebook, email, and cloud storage, paint a picture of your life. It’s important because it shapes how you’re remembered and lets your loved ones revisit shared memories. Imagine your digital afterlife as a library of your life’s tales, and let’s ensure it’s curated just the way you’d want.

Preparing Your Digital Garden:

Start by mapping out your digital territory. What social media profiles have you nurtured? What about your email gardens and the cloud forests where your photos and documents live? Then, decide the future of these digital spaces – should they remain sanctuaries for memories, be transferred to someone else, or perhaps fade away gracefully? Creating a digital will is like drawing a treasure map, guiding those who follow to care for these spaces as you wish.

The Footprints You Leave Behind:

Your online data is the chapters of your story:

  • Social Media: The diary of your interactions.
  • Emails: Your personal letters to the world.
  • Online Accounts: The footprints of your digital journey.
  • Cloud Storage: The vault of your precious memories.

Storing Your Footprints:

Your footprints are stored across the digital expanse:

  • Cloud Realms like Google Drive and iCloud.
  • Social Media Vaults, holding your shared moments.
  • Emails services guarding your communications.
  • Digital vaults at financial institutions.

Navigating the Legal Maze:

The legal pathways of the digital afterlife can be twisty. Each online platform has its own rules, like a different kingdom with its laws. Appointing a digital executor is like choosing a guardian for your digital realm, someone to ensure your wishes are honoured.

Practical Steps to Care for Your Digital Realm:

  1. Secure Your Secrets: Use password managers to keep your login keys safe.
  2. Appoint a Digital Guardian: Choose someone to carry out your digital wishes.
  3. Understand Each Platform’s Rules: From memorialising a Facebook profile to handling your email archives, know the policies.

Social Media: Your Digital Portrait Gallery:

Platforms like Facebook and Instagram are like galleries of your life. You can choose to have these galleries preserved, with friends and family visiting to reminisce. Set your preferences clearly, almost like leaving instructions for a curator of your online exhibit.

Guarding Your Personal Data:

Protect your digital life like you would your home. Use strong passwords and be cautious about what you share. Decide what should be passed on and what should be locked away. Safeguarding against identity theft and misuse is critical.

Setting Up Your Digital Afterlife

  • Setting Up Google’s Inactive Account Manager:
  • Go to Google’s Inactive Account Manager and sign in.
  • Click ‘Start’ to begin setting up.
  • Choose the timeout period for your account (e.g., 3, 6, 12, or 18 months of inactivity).
  • Add one or more trusted contacts and decide what data to share with them.
  • Review and confirm your plan.

Setting Up Facebook’s Legacy Contact:

  • Visit your Facebook settings and click on the ‘Memorialization Settings’.
  • Type in the name of a Facebook friend to add as your Legacy Contact and click ‘Add’.
  • Decide if you want your Legacy Contact to download a copy of what you’ve shared on Facebook.
  • Optionally, you can also choose to have your account deleted after your passing.

Conclusion:

Crafting your digital afterlife is a thoughtful way to ensure your story is told your way. It’s about leaving a legacy that reflects your life and provides comfort and joy to those you love. Remember, it’s not a complex task – it’s a loving gesture for your family and friends.

Need a Helping Hand?

If this feels a bit overwhelming, don’t fret. We’re here to help at [NDTV’s Digital Legacy Assistance]. Let’s make this journey together, ensuring your digital legacy blooms beautifully.

Disclaimer: These are personal opinions of the author

(Anand Murali is a technophile exploring the impact of technology on society in India. One of his fundamental interests is understanding how digital privacy evolves and shapes the connected future.)



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