Digital Assets and the Afterlife

I have often thought about what happened to people when their Twitter profiles goes silent or their blog posts suddenly stop without any further updates. Two thoughts comes to mind. That person has either gotten very bored with the Internet or they have met a sudden and untimely accident or death.

This got me to thinking about how I would go about letting people know if something goes wrong with me. I was thinking about an OnStar alert system for my online life. How would I alert people if I was in an accident? This is when I started thinking about a dead man switch. Imagine my surprise when I found this website. Death Switch is the digital equivalent to the dead man’s switch. You are prompted on a regular basis to provide a password to keep the system from being set off. If it goes unanswered after a predetermined number of unanswered email prompts, your pregrogrammed email (with or without attachements) is sent out to your distribution list. It is both a very interesting solution as well as morbid way of informing people of your demise.

Another option that doesn't involve responding to an email on a regular intervals is Legacy Locker. It is the equivalent of digital safe deposit box. It allows you to assign beneficiaries who can access your account in the event of an accident or sudden death (proof of death required). Equally morbid but if your websites are revenue generating and a source of income, you will want to ensure a smooth transition to your estate.

I guess the other option is the more costly but secure lawyer. I would only go down this road if my domains generated enough money that I could afford the retainer fees. I can see it now. Close family and friends sitting in a lawyer's office, listening intently to who will get what domain name, Twitter profile or blog site (or maybe not).

The last (safe) option is a real safe deposit box or my own personal favorite, my little black book and an inter-dimensional time safe.
What do you do to protect your online assets?

2 comments Links to this post

Anonymous said...

Karl, are you that important?

Karl Kovacs said...

no, but social commentary is meant to generate conversation which is the goal of any blogger.