Author Topic: Digitally Deceased  (Read 847 times)

Digitally Deceased
« on: April 23, 2020, 05:37:03 pm »
On the basis of wanting to think about it before I need to, I've been considering a digital will of some nature. There's quite a lot on the subject if you look around, and I've now set up the Google Inactive Account manager (which allows a nominated person(s) to access your Google account if you are inactive for a stated period. Thinking about other stuff, I'm not too sure what if anything needs doing. Wondered, anyone else given it thought?

(and no you CAN'T have my bikes)

Re: Digitally Deceased
« Reply #1 on: April 23, 2020, 11:09:23 pm »
I made a will last year and that got me thinking about two aspects that the will does not cover:

1. Connecting things I own. Assuming I am the first to go, I don't expect my wife to know which spare wheels, tyres, inner tubes, brake pads and so on go with which bike should she decide to sell them, or, how would she be expected to look at my guitars and know which are worth a lot and which are near worthless. I keep thinking I should start a spreadsheet register of my stuff, just like I have with computers (and their serial numbers) and software (with their licence numbers).

2. The digital will stuff. In a sense, my password program is my starting place as most of the needed information is in there. It covers every site I have had to register at so banking and fora are all there as well as shops and email accounts. One of my brothers would probably just look at the password program contents and know instinctively what to do.

On both these counts I have not yet started anything formal but I am prompted from my days as a company founding director: I came across some legal stuff and it turned out that should I die in post my fellow co-founding director had something like 7 days to inform HMRC, the bank and more. That forced me to make and keep up-to-date a document about the company's important details. I have intended to do something similar about myself to help my wife (if I go first) or my will's executors (should I go last).

I will follow your topic with interest, Ham.

Re: Digitally Deceased
« Reply #2 on: April 24, 2020, 09:23:02 am »
I'm thinking about this too. Like road-runner, the starting place would be my password program, but it is deliberately difficult to get into that, especially remotely.
An attempt at remote access requires knowledge of what and where it is, plus a password which is not written down anywhere. Then there is the second level security which requires my phone.

Once in my children could do what is needed, but I haven't come up with a way of securely passing this stuff on.

Re: Digitally Deceased
« Reply #3 on: April 24, 2020, 09:32:53 am »
Yes, there are those two main aspects. The first is the "stuff" - photos and the like which people might actually want to have, which given my google fanboi status is remarkably easy to achieve through the "inactive account" thingy, it even allows you to send so long and thanks for all the fish a message to the recipients. The passwords, access to systems and what to do in different places and sites is the difficult bit.

Salvatore

  • Джон Спунър
    • Pics
Re: Digitally Deceased
« Reply #4 on: April 24, 2020, 09:50:25 am »
Yes, there are those two main aspects. The first is the "stuff" - photos and the like which people might actually want to have, which given my google fanboi status is remarkably easy to achieve through the "inactive account" thingy, it even allows you to send so long and thanks for all the fish a message to the recipients. The passwords, access to systems and what to do in different places and sites is the difficult bit.
Obviously not relevant to you, Ham, but flickr will place a paid account 'in memoriam', so that photos will not be deleted when annual subs aren't paid. I did this for Dave Pountney's account i.e. I informed flickr with some supporting evidence (notice of funeral, plus his last photo posted was a bit ominous). I wonder if any other subscription services have anything similar.
Quote
et avec John, excellent lecteur de road-book, on s'en est sortis sans erreur

Re: Digitally Deceased
« Reply #5 on: April 24, 2020, 04:03:52 pm »
death.io might be worth a look. They have a digital liabilities section.

Disclaimer ;) not associated with them other than they are based in Bristol startup offices I was working from.

Valiant

  • aka Sam
    • Radiance Audio
Re: Digitally Deceased
« Reply #6 on: April 30, 2020, 09:39:56 pm »
Facebook have a similar function I believe where you can assign someone access. Dashlane has a password sharing thing which I wonder if that be used for similar, ie create a new group of passwords for important and notification purposes etc.

Would be useful to have an online will of some sort along with how my things should be divvied and what belongs to others etc.
You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say will be misquoted, then used against you.

Support Equilibrium

Re: Digitally Deceased
« Reply #7 on: May 01, 2020, 03:59:19 pm »
Looks like a good business opportunity here. Probably every person on line, or at least those with some ability to think ahead would like something in place. I know I would.

PH
Bees do nothing invariably.

Re: Digitally Deceased
« Reply #8 on: May 01, 2020, 05:51:19 pm »
Well, there are services, but it is all such untried and untested territory, that this discussion seemed useful

Re: Digitally Deceased
« Reply #9 on: May 01, 2020, 06:55:25 pm »
There are probably things I am not understanding or aware of, technically speaking, but my logic tells me that I would have to trust whoever had guardianship of my usernames and passwords, whether that be a firm or my brothers. If I used an encryption scheme there would still need to be a password and whoever held that would need to be trusted. For me, right now, I trust my brothers implicitly and so at the moment would favour that route. In a sense I have to trust them as I assigned them lasting power of attorney, should anything untoward happen to me.

Unlike a written will that may have a change made, I tend to change my passwords at least every two years (but not all at the same time), so a digital will would be forever b in the process of being updated.

Re: Digitally Deceased
« Reply #10 on: May 01, 2020, 07:16:11 pm »
As far as I can see, there are three aspects of digitaldom, which each demand different treatmetn although there is some cross over.

Digital assets - domain names, stored data and the like. Some can just fall away, some may need to be dealt with
Digital access - that's the account and passwords, without some documentation an executor wouldn't know where to start and having something in place will help
Digital presence - We pick up digital friends in all manner of places, it would be a common courtesy to let people know, as you would if you had an address book


Kim

  • Timelord
Re: Digitally Deceased
« Reply #11 on: May 01, 2020, 07:26:19 pm »
I'll add the fourth:

Digital knowledge - All the stuff in the digital world that keeps working due to things (beyond simple login details) that are only documented in your head.  Someone's going to have to reverse-engineer those procedures and systems if they're not to be abandoned entirely.

Applies equally well to non-digital procedures and systems, of course, but it's easier to be aware of those before they break.
Careful, Kim. Your sarcasm's showing...

Re: Digitally Deceased
« Reply #12 on: May 01, 2020, 07:28:29 pm »
Unless that's part of your Digital Assets - something you own and want to keep going, that's really Someone Else's Problem.

fuaran

  • rothair gasta
Re: Digitally Deceased
« Reply #13 on: May 01, 2020, 07:30:31 pm »
Unlike a written will that may have a change made, I tend to change my passwords at least every two years (but not all at the same time), so a digital will would be forever b in the process of being updated.
Use a password manager, then you only have one master password to store and update.
Or you could store a backup of the master password, eg on a USB stick. Then you just need instructions of where to find it.

Kim

  • Timelord
Re: Digitally Deceased
« Reply #14 on: May 01, 2020, 07:31:57 pm »
Unless that's part of your Digital Assets - something you own and want to keep going, that's really Someone Else's Problem.

It's all Someone Else's Problem: You're dead.  It's a matter of how much you care about the Someone Else.
Careful, Kim. Your sarcasm's showing...

ian

  • fatuously disingenuous
    • The Suburban Survival Guide
Re: Digitally Deceased
« Reply #15 on: May 01, 2020, 07:38:28 pm »
Unless that's part of your Digital Assets - something you own and want to keep going, that's really Someone Else's Problem.

It's all Someone Else's Problem: You're dead.  It's a matter of how much you care about the Someone Else.

At least it's not sticky-paged printed matter these days.
!nataS pihsroW

Re: Digitally Deceased
« Reply #16 on: May 01, 2020, 07:40:04 pm »
Unless that's part of your Digital Assets - something you own and want to keep going, that's really Someone Else's Problem.

It's all Someone Else's Problem: You're dead.  It's a matter of how much you care about the Someone Else.
Well,  yes, that is the way wills work. But for example, I hold domains for all members of my family and the server and services I buy keep them going.  I'd rather that they didn't end up cursing me for their email disappearing into a black hole, even if I'm not there to hear it. Likewise, there's stuff I'dd like them to have and - possibly - they might want. Those are my "problems" now, ways to deal with them in my absence, not so easy.

Kim

  • Timelord
Re: Digitally Deceased
« Reply #17 on: May 01, 2020, 07:54:43 pm »
Exactly.

Barakta lives in a house full of equipment running on marginally documented one-off code and systems - stuff that's in some way better than the commercially available alternatives, iff I'm around to maintain it.  None of it's irreplaceable, of course, but I'm aware that at some point she'd need some lights that don't flicker and a fire alarm and a phone and a doorbell and a mail server and so on.

The pragmatic solution is that it all goes in the bin as and when it develops bit-rot.  It's not worth somebody competent's time to reverse-engineer it.  The question is how to provide the people who depend on this sort of stuff a little breathing space.

There's other stuff out there, in places I give much less of a shit about.

And then the data, passwords, acquaintances, etc already discussed.
Careful, Kim. Your sarcasm's showing...

Re: Digitally Deceased
« Reply #18 on: May 04, 2020, 09:30:08 pm »
My plan for this is to install a safe which contains the keys to the kingdom.

De-structions for booting the laptop and accessing my password database. USB stick with copy of said database. That should ensure my life partner can get access to everything.
I've got an arrangement with a friend to help decommission stuff and leave things in a state where the Internet still works. He can can take the hardware away and keep what he wants, eBay/dispose the rest.
A Few Apples Short of a Strudel