What happens to your Social Profiles after Death?
Social media users now number over 3 billion worldwide and according to GlobalWebIndex people spend almost 2 hours per day on social media sites. We have been apart of the social media explosion for the last 10 years.
“You are what you share.” — Charles W. Leadbeater, We Think: The Power Of Mass Creativity
While social media use continues to grow there is also a dark side that is silently growing. Every month social media sites lose over 300,000 users a month who pass away. According to “the Loop’s” article the number of deceased users on social networking sites will outnumber the living in our lifetime.
Now we should be asking questions about the online presence of those who die. It is kind of creepy to think you could still be tagged or messaged after your death. Whether we like it or not our life continues online unless the sites are notified.
Close Social Accounts
If you are a friend or loved one of a deceased person you can work with social media sites to close their accounts. Each social media site has its own policy on how to shut down the accounts and you will likely need proof of death. In most cases the site will not grant another person direct access to the account. You can personally work with each site or you could hire a professional service like eClosure to assist in closing down social media sites.
There are a lot of social media sites out there. Some of these you may have heard or contribute to and new ones pop up every day. Here are just some of the main social media sites you will want to contact regarding the deceased person (as of November 1, 2015):
- Facebook — 900,000,000 estimated unique monthly visitors
2. Twitter — 310,000,000 estimated unique monthly visitors
3. LinkedIn — 255,000,000 estimated unique monthly visitors
4. Pinterest — 250,000,000 estimated unique monthly visitors
5. Google Plus+ — 120,000,000 estimated unique monthly visitors
6. Tumblr — 110,000,000 estimated unique monthly visitors
7. Instagram — 100,000,000 estimated unique monthly visitors
8. VK — 80,000,000 estimated unique monthly visitors
9. Flickr — 65,000,000 estimated unique monthly visitors
10. Vine — 42,000,000 estimated unique monthly visitors
11. Meetup — 40,000,000 estimated unique monthly visitors
12. Tagged — 38,000,000 estimated unique monthly visitors
13. Ask.fm — 37,000,000 estimated unique monthly visitors
14. MeetMe — 15,500,000 estimated unique monthly visitors
15. ClassMates — 15,000,000 estimated unique monthly visitors
What Can You Do To Prepare?
So what can you do to prepare to protect your online presence after your death? Take a few steps now to save your loved ones a lot of time with handling your social media accounts after you are gone.
- Will — Create or update your will to let your wishes about how to handle your social media accounts known. Provide clear instructions for each site and any login information they may need.
- Legacy Contact — Designate a legacy contact on Facebook. You can set another person as a legacy contact so that they can manage your account after death. This can include limited functionality with your profile and content as well as the rights to permanently delete the account.
- Store Account Information — Go through your online accounts and store the information electronically. Use a tool like a spreadsheet or an online password managed like aMemoryJog to compile your information. After you have your passwords securely stored for yourself, decide if you want to pass these along to a loved one. The last step is to store and share them securely in a service like The TriggerBox.
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