If you were hit by a bus, and passed on to whatever heaven might exist, would you care about your Facebook page? Probably not. But your loved ones more than likely would. Things like email, websites, and social media profiles are considered “digital assets,” which may have some monetary value, but for the most part offer sentimental value to the family of the deceased.
I went to high school with a darling young woman who passed away at far too young an age. Her Facebook page sees a lot of activity. Not a day goes by that someone doesn’t make use of this forum to leave a message telling her they love her. It’s quite nice to visit her page and witness this outpouring of affection.
When Facebook is informed that a profile’s owner has passed away, the account is memorialized, which means that nobody can access or edit the account, nor can any new friends be accepted, but people can still post messages and comments.
However, the inability to access an account might pose a burden to the family of the deceased, who might wish to learn more about their loved one or need administrative abilities in order to access crucial information, alert loved ones, or even finalize the deceased’s affairs.
The Associated Press reports, “Now lawmakers and attorneys in at least two states are considering proposals that would require Facebook and other social networks to grant access to loved ones when a family member dies, essentially making the site contents part of a person’s digital estate. The issue is growing increasingly important as people record more thoughts and experiences online and more disputes break out over that material.”
Facebook currently provides an online form that can be used to report a user’s death. “If prior consent is obtained from or decreed by the deceased or mandated by law,” Facebook will provide the family of the deceased with a download of all account data.
Though you may not particularly care to acknowledge it, now might be a good time to instruct a trusted friend or family member on how to access your various social media assets in the event that something bad should happen.
Robert Siciliano is an Online Security Evangelist to McAfee. Watch him discussing information he found on used electronic devices YouTube. (Disclosures)
ROBERT SICILIANO, CEO of IDTheftSecurity.com is fiercely committed to informing, educating, and empowering Americans so they can be protected from violence and crime in the physical and virtual worlds. His "tell it like it is" style is sought after by major media outlets, executives in the C-Suite of leading corporations, meeting planners, and community leaders to get the straight talk they need to stay safe in a world in which physical and virtual crime is commonplace. Siciliano is accessible, real, professional, and ready to weigh in and comment at a moment's notice on breaking news.
- Protect Your Facebook Photos
Imagine you have a baby and want to share your newborn’s photos with your Facebook friends and family all across the country. You snap the pictures and post and receive lots of fun and exciting feedback. Then a week later you are scanning Craigslist to buy some second hand baby stuff like strollers and maybe baby
- Weak Passwords Can Cost You Everything
If your computer or mobile was hacked or your passwords were cracked and your data was lost or if all the websites you have an account with were hacked and all that information was the hands of a criminal, how devastated will you be? In McAfee’s study on the value of digital assets, consumers estimated the total
- Identity Theft of the Dead affects the Living
You don’t have to be living to have your identity stolen. Every year in America there’s 2.5 million cases of ID theft involving the deceased. And while your first reaction might be “So what, I’ll be dead and I won’t care”, you need to keep in mind that identity theft of the dead often significantly
- Managing your Digital Afterlife
Ever thought of who’d get your assets should you meet an untimely death, or even if you’re 99 and sensing that the time to check out is very soon? You may know whom you want to receive your assets, but do you know for sure that they actually will? After all, policyholders are not required to
- Beware of Flight MH17 Facebook Scams
How low can scammers go? The latest is phony Facebook profiles that use identities of deceased victims of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17—claiming their credit cards were stolen from the crash debris. “Death hunters,” says Ukrainian MP Anton Gerashchenko on his Facebook page, are collecting jewels, cash and credit cards off of the victims. His post urges
Leave a Comment
You must be logged in to post a comment.