Passing on passwords and key information before you die

passing on password information

Writing an article about password protection and online security wasn’t the first thing we thought of when we started writing about funerals, however the two are related. As much as it worries us to think it, a huge part of our lives are located on our devices and without the right key for these devices much of our lives work, who we are and what we represent can be lost. This can have serious implications especially if what is behind these digital doors is valuable and or carries sentimental value to family members. Examples of this may include unpublished writings, work related information like projects all the way to photos of important family events.

Finding and passing on the details to someone you trust

This not only relates to who you can trust to be honourable and honest in the use of the information found, it also relates to who you can trust to keep the access details private and away from prying eyes. This person may be a spouse, friend or relative, or it may be a professional like a lawyer or the executor of the will. Additionally their are some online offerings with this in mind. Whoever it may be needs to be a person or company with whom you have the utmost trust in.

When to pass on the details and how often to update

Some may choose to keep all passwords in a vault which is updated with the information on a periodic basis. Some may give the information to a lawyer or the person or company managing the will. Some will use an online service which specialises in this. Others will give the information to a close relative, spose or friend and many, many people, will have no plan at all. Whatever way you plan it its still better to have some plan rather than no plan at all. The timings of handing over details to whoever it may be is important however what’s more important is that the process does not take a lot of maintenance while you’re alive. You don’t really want to be continually reminding yourself of the grim reality.

How to do it right

The ideal situation is to arrange for someone to have access to all the systems, devices and folders and step by step guides on how to use them. You need to picture the person doing the work and imagine how they will actually use the information. Supplementary notes could also help, especially if you are in the middle of a piece of work that you would like completed by other capable people.

In cases where the person did not pass on their information

These situations are awkward. Mainly because it’s like looking for a treasure chest and not only do you not have any key to open it, you don’t know where in the world its located. This is a real challenge and may involve making phone calls and tracking down email addresses to at least get in contact with those who control the deceased accounts.

Final thoughts

Even a single page with usernames/email addresses and passwords can be of immense help to relatives and friends when a person dies. This can allow things to be saved and it would also allow people to control some of the information about your death and the arrangements for your funeral especially when it comes to the more social websites. In the end passing on personal information and passwords can help others in a multitude of ways so make your list today.

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