How to Manage Your Digital Legacy
What is Your Digital Legacy?
Your digital legacy is the online digital information about you following your death. This digital information comes in the form of any websites or blogs you may have as well as your social media and gaming profiles, photos, videos, and the exchanges you have had online.
The most common digital legacy is your social media profiles, like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. More than a billion people are active on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram combined. So, what do you do when you or a loved one dies? What happens to your or their accounts? These 3 social media will be covered in this blog post.
There are 2 options for what happens to your Facebook account after you die. You can have your account permanently deleted from Facebook or you can have it memorialized with a legacy contact in charge of the account.
How to Delete Your Facebook Account
If you want your Facebook account deleted upon your death, you can go to your settings, manage account, click request account deletion, and click delete after death. To read more about permanently deleting your Facebook account, click here.
How to Memorialize Your Facebook Account
If you do not want to delete your Facebook account, you can have it memorialized. First, set up a legacy contact. A legacy contact is a Facebook friend whom you choose to oversee your account when it is memorialized. Click here to learn about a legacy contact can do. An account is memorialized once a memorialization request is submitted to Facebook, see this link for the request.
Unlike Facebook, Twitter does not have a way to memorialize accounts when someone dies. In the event of a death, a request to have the account removed is currently the only option if you do not want your account to remain active. Twitter will work with a person who is authorized to act on behalf of the estate, or with a verified immediate family member to have the account deactivated. Click here to learn more about Twitter’s policies.
Since Instagram is owned by Facebook, Inc., its policies for removing and memorializing accounts are like Facebook.
How to Remove an Instagram Account
There is a request form to submit for the removal of an Instagram account that requires proof of immediate family or proof of authority. Click here to learn about this.
How to Memorialize an Instagram Account
If you would like to have an account memorialized, a similar form must be filled out as the removal form. Instagram does not have a legacy contact like Facebook. Memorializing an Instagram account prevents the account from appearing in suggested areas and protecting and securing the account. For more information click here.
Social Media Will
If you want to physically keep track of your preferences when it comes to your digital legacy, download this free social media will template here.
This document is not legally binding as each online platform has different terms of services. This document is meant as a statement of preferences that ensure your end of life and digital legacy wishes are adhered to.