Digital Estate Planning

At some point last night, someone tried to change the password on my Facebook account. My account has been deactivated since last August, but I learned about this intrusion attempt because I received a notification alerting me to that fact. By the way, it’s well-know that the easiest way to get into someone’s account—Facebook, email, and any other account—is to request a new password, provided you can access your target’s email or know the answer to a challenge question.

As far as I can tell, no one accessed my email or my Facebook account. Nonetheless, I went into my Facebook account to make sure no one did anything fishy. While going over my security settings, I saw that I can assign a trusted Facebook friend to take care of my account after I die, known as a legacy contact. For this bit of digital estate planning, I appointed my brother to act as an executor.

Facebook has a whole process in place to deal with someone’s death, including memorializing the account or permanently deleting it.

Come to think of it, dying might be the only way to ever fully delete your Facebook account. Logging in to my account was really easy, and everything was there just like I remembered it. Having a deactivated account for sixteen months didn’t erase any bit of my presence there.

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