You’ve got thousands of pictures and videos of the grandkids on your phone. Maybe more somewhere on your computer or in Google Photos or iCloud. Maybe you’ve got a Facebook page to connect with the grandkids as well? Following them now on TikTok? One of the fastest growing markets for smartphones and tablets is those over 55. And all that content gets stored somewhere online.
We all want to and plan to live forever, but the reality is, accidents can happen and other unforeseen incidents. You want to be sure that those photos, videos and maybe other digital content, can still be available to the family. But trouble can arise when we lose our loved ones. Especially if those images are stored with a U.S. provider like Facebook, Apple or Google. Getting to them can take years and mean a U.S. court order. If you’re prepared to go through that.
Planning your digital will
So what can you do?
Sometimes it means being a little “old fashioned” such as printing off the ones you want to keep and maybe share the most and creating those old-school things called family photo albums! You may also want to download them to a portable hard drive that isn’t password protected and this is one of the best ways. You can buy a 2Tb hard drive to plug into your computer.
When it comes to social media, the only one that’s really thought this through is Facebook, who has what they call the Legacy Option where you can assign someone the rights to access you account and delete it or at least notify people of your passing. Google offers what they call the Inactive Account Manager for Gmail, which also applies to other Google services such as photos.
You can try writing down your passwords, but these sometimes get written down improperly or lost. People sometimes change their passwords too. One way is to use a password management tool such as Dashlane, 1Password or LastPass and give the person you trust your master password.
It’s not something we really like to think about of course, but we should. The less hassle we leave for our loved ones of course, is better.
More Insight: Check out this great article on if you really need smarthome devices.
Author: Giles Crouch is the group publisher for HUM@Nmedia, the parent brand for Silver Magazine. He is also a design anthropologist and works at the intersection of humans and technology.