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General Chat Thread, Your Digital Footprint.... in General; A family friend recently passed away and some weeks after the funeral I happened to notice with some surprise that ...
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    tech_guy's Avatar
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    Your Digital Footprint....

    A family friend recently passed away and some weeks after the funeral I happened to notice with some surprise that his Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin and other accounts were still active - although obviously not being updated as regularly as they once were...

    It was a difficult thing to do as his death had been totally unexpected and was still a great shock to us all, but I eventually raised the issue with his partner and his immediate family, who were all unaware of his online persona carrying on as such, and so hadn't begun to deal with the electronic aspect of his passing.

    We asked his solicitor who had dealt with his will to help, who fortunately was quite knowledgeable in such matters, and who has now written to or emailed the various companies to ask that the accounts be closed. No mean feat as we were dealing with all the major social networking sites and a dozen or so email accounts from the likes of Yahoo, Hotmail and GMail.

    There were also numerous subscriptions to websites and mailing lists, as well as Flickr accounts and the like.

    In all, it's taken several weeks to get most of it dealt with, although some of the accounts are still in the process of being closed and deleted.

    I was wondering if anyone else has had experience of this and it made me think about the digital footprint that we will all leave behind us on the Internet when we pass on.
    Last edited by tech_guy; 25th May 2011 at 09:15 PM.

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    nephilim's Avatar
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    I am on a few websites (facebook and twitter) and have a few email accounts, beyond that, no subscriptions to anything, so not much to take care of. However in my will I intend on leaving the details to sign in to whatever needs deleting in my will

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    CAM
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    It is a problem that will need dealing with at some point. You have to remember the new wired culture is just starting out so many users are still alive and kicking. Give it time until we hit pension age (well, those that aren't near already... ) and the net will be awash with dead accounts, no pun intended.

    Careful with closing things like Facebook though, it's the equivalent of a photo book now and there will be a lot of pictures and status updates that are memories.

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    GrumbleDook's Avatar
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    I have left details with a friend how to get into 3 particular services, from which they can they get access into everything else. I do have to update my will and such, as there are certain things I would like left turned on, partly due to the CreativeCommons materials on there and partly due to being a self-centred narcissist who wants to still be remembered as that bloke with his face painted like a tiger!

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    Interesting this has come up was reading something about this the other day. Facebook is quite easy to do, if you have a sibling / husband / wife / child as a friend on your Facebook (they need to be a confirmed sibling using the Facebook options to choose them) they can "report profile" and select that you have passed on and Facebook will then ask them about options to lock it so its no longer editable and thus become a memorial to you as it were, limit some aspects or delete it completely (they said on this site I saw it on that it is a real deletion not the suspension that usually happens when you "delete" Facebook). If you don't have siblings / immediate family on it and setup before your passing then the options are much more limited unfortunately but there were some.

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    Jawloms's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CAM View Post
    Careful with closing things like Facebook though, it's the equivalent of a photo book now and there will be a lot of pictures and status updates that are memories.
    I found the other day (and you lot may already know this) that you can download everything you've ever put on facebook. You request it in the "Account Settings" page towards the bottom. They then email you a bit later with a URL so that you can download all your statuses ever and a load of other stuff too. I don't think the photos are included, but it may be a nice memory thing to look through for relatives/friends?

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    I had a similar thing a couple of years ago, but it was decided to leave her facebook page up so all her friends could still access the information and the photo's that were posted there. Personally I think it is a good thing as although I had my own photo's to remember he by, there are still lots on there that I dont have and it's nice to be able to remember her.

    On a similar note(and I'm simplyfying the story a little), I had a phone call to the house I'm renting asking for the lady who used to live there before us. I had to explain to the caller that she had passed away 12-18 months earlir. They had lost contact over the last few years and she was trying to re-connect. The lady on the phone felt terrible as they had lost contact and now they would never have the opportunity to remake that friendship. Facebook has it's critics, but I wonder if they had used facebook if they could have kept in contact more, or even if she could have found out that she had passed when it happened rather than over a year later.

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