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Monday, October 5, 2009

Legacy Locker: Death Goes Digital

Posted By on Mon, Oct 5, 2009 at 4:54 PM

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Death goes mobile. - (CREDIT: ESHOPAFRICA.COM)
  • (Credit: eShopAfrica.com)
  • Death goes mobile.

We spend a lot of time protecting our online identity; namely, making sure our passwords are secure so nobody can hack our accounts. (Hey you, maybe it's time to chuck that Post-it with all of your passwords written on it. You'll thank us later.) But what happens when you actually NEED to let others have access to your accounts? Namely, what happens to your online identity and assets when you log off for the final time? A San Francisco-based business, LegacyLocker.com, is helping you tackle this most morbid - yet

important - of subjects.

When we make a will, we ensure that our physical assets are

accounted for. Houses, cars, bank accounts, offspring. Tangible parts of our

lives that will need tending to when we're no longer around to do it ourselves.

But with much of our life now happening online, many people are overlooking a

huge part of their assets: their digital ones.

Legacy Locker aims to make this easy, by transferring your login

credentials to your named beneficiaries in the event of your death. You can

choose who would receive access to each account; perhaps you send your spouse

your eBay information but your work passwords to your colleague. And it's not

only online services; you can also keep encrypted versions of important

documents - such as stock certificates, the deed to your house, contracts, and even

a "Legacy Letter" or video to your loved ones - safeguarded to be sent to your

beneficiaries posthumously. Because you always have access to this information,

this service doubles as an easy way to keep a safe copy of your personal

artifacts, such as your ID or credit cards, for quick access should they get

lost or stolen. For those of us prone to 'misplacing' our wallets, this feature

is worth the $30/year (or $300 for a lifetime account) price tag alone.

legacylocker.jpg

Of course, by storing sensitive information on a third-party

site, the question of security must be raised, and Legacy Locker takes this

process very seriously. Every piece of information is encrypted from the onset,

so that even their employees can't view your data. They have even upgraded to a

more secure form of bank-level security. There's also an element of human intervention.

If someone reports your death, they have "verifiers" in place that requires two

independent people to confirm your passing. Further, no information is

transferred until a certified copy of a death certificate is received.

The site launched earlier this year, and was founded by

Jeremy Toeman, who found it extremely difficult to get access to his

grandmother's online accounts after she passed, which is how the idea was hatched.

Indeed, many websites don't have provisions for passing on your account

information, and often times a will doesn't even help. And while not the

cheeriest of services, in today's digital age, it's a necessary one. 


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Aubrey Sabala

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