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Why start managing your digital legacy today?

Consider these few basic questions to begin getting your digital legacy in order today, so others are not left to do this later.

For years, you’ve left a trail of digital footprints in the wake of your online activity. You’ve posted pictures on social media, sent birthday wishes in text messages, and sent emails updating friends on what you’ve been up to. These are just a few of the elements that make up the online collection of your activities and presence that exists no matter where you are.

At some point when you are no longer managing your online presence, have you considered who will inherit this digital legacy? And how will they know where to find all the pieces of your online existence that should be addressed if you are no longer here?

Because the data you’ve generated will persist even after you’re gone, it’s important to start thinking about your digital legacy while you are the one deciding how you want your data and online involvements handled. If you leave these decisions to loved ones to handle later, they will be faced with tackling a significant project about you without any instructions from you.

Here we provide a starter guide to help you take appropriate steps to set up your digital legacy in advance and day by day, now rather than later.

Prisidio’s cloud-based vault helps you keep your important information secure and organized. Making plans for your digital legacy is how you can ensure this part of your life is preserved, resolved and shared with the right people at the right time.

What does your digital legacy include?

Your digital life today includes not only your latest bank statements and tax returns, it also encompasses personal photos, videos, and other records that contain your memories.

Understanding the scope of your digital legacy can begin with making a list of places where you store digital information and documents, produce data online, and interact with other people and entities online. This likely includes:

  • Email accounts
  • Personal or professional website or blog
  • Social media accounts
  • Online banking, investment, and loan accounts
  • Utility accounts
  • Streaming and subscription service accounts

The first step to getting your digital legacy in order is to make a list of all of your digital accounts — financial, commercial, and social. 

You should also include any files that may be located on a hard drive, digital storage device or elsewhere in the cloud. This may include any online photo storage, such as cloud services that automatically upload from your smartphone.

Your cloud-based vault makes it easier to manage your digital legacy

Prisidio’s cloud-based vault is designed to protect what matters, which includes your personal data and any information you have ever shared online.

Within Prisidio, you can associate any of the objects and items you include with any people in the contacts who are also in your vault, including loved ones and your legal representation. This allows you to share information about your digital legacy and preferences for its handling in one centralized location, along with any information key contacts may need to manage your affairs in your place.

Streamline and catalog your digital legacy

Every time you log into your social media accounts to like, share, or comment on a post, you create new data points that are a part of your digital legacy. While many social media companies limit the amount of information available to designated legacy contacts, it’s still worth considering what your digital footprint looks like as you continue to grow this pool of data each day.

As you begin to add new elements to your cloud-based vault, think about the data you don’t want or need to update, how you manage it, and whether you'd prefer it simply be erased. Then, consider what steps you can take to begin deleting unused accounts and outdated content from your digital footprint.

How to set up your digital legacy instructions

One piece of good news about setting up your digital legacy is that it’s easier than ever when it comes to your accounts with major retailers and online vendors.

For example, Apple recently updated its digital legacy settings so that users can designate a party to receive a legacy contact for their Apple account. That contact will be able to use an access key to make important decisions about your account and its contents, should they need to step in.

Similarly, social media companies like Meta are putting decisions in the hands of their users. Facebook users can add a legacy contact and indicate whether they’d like their profile page to be converted into a public memorial page or deleted after their passing. Check the policies of companies you interact with, as each has different standards for handling access and content ownership after death.

Some accounts that you access online, including your bank and investment accounts, house assets that will most likely be legally dictated by your will, or if necessary, handled in the probate process. To navigate addressing these assets responsibly, consult your legal advisor.

Manage your digital legacy today

Being proactive about the digital legacy process means asking yourself and your service providers questions so you can decide how each account will be handled in advance. Doing this ensures your Amazon Prime account gets canceled in a timely manner, for example, and that your personal website’s domain is managed the way you wish after your passing. To ease the burden on your loved ones in the future, make these decisions and set up a legacy contact for any accounts that make this available. Then outline your wishes and inform the contacts you have designated.

Throughout this process, your cloud-based vault can be a principal tool for managing the components of your digital legacy. To make the critical move toward organizing and centralizing access to all your online information, sign up for a Prisidio plan today.

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