We applaud NBC News’ addressing the issue of digital afterlife, but the advice was incorrect, and could cause people to lose so much of their loved one’s digital lives, including some that are irreplaceable.
1) If the digital account’s system figures out that someone who is not the account holder is trying to log in, all of the data is at risk. If passwords expire, change or a platform moves to biometrics, passwords won’t work. Then what?
2) Password sharing relies on keeping a list of all of your passwords and accounts up to date and making sure that someone you trust always has the latest information.
3) Password sharing may require you to share some secrets. What if you have a private online life and you don’t want others to know about? Do you want the same person knowing all of your accounts?
4) If you’re an attorney or a financial advisor, you can’t be in charge of someone’s passwords. That’s going to get you into hot water with the bar association’s ethics committee or a regulatory group like FINRA. There are privacy laws and Terms of Service Agreements that do not permit password sharing.
We applaud their effort to bring this subject to light but the information could bring on bigger problems than imagined… and they are being experienced every day.
Under new laws about digital privacy, you need a digital directive for every digital account. You can do it one by one through each website and account, or you can use https://www.protectmyplans.com/.
But don’t rely on password sharing to protect yourself, your photos, your family, or your digital life.