So many of us now maintain a personal presence on the internet through our emails, social networking sites, blogs and websites, we need to consider how we pass passwords and usernames on to our executors so that these accounts can be closed down after death, protecting our identity and our families.
As our online activity also increasingly extends to banking, shopping and quick payment systems like Paypal, criminals and fraudsters look for ways to exploit this activity and there has been a huge reported rise in cybercrime, including identity theft and financial fraud.
We are continuously warned to take password security seriously and not use one or two passwords for our online accounts. We are also told that it isn’t advisable to keep written records of passwords which can be accessed easily by fraudsters but inevitably if we take this advice it then becomes increasingly difficult to keep track of multiple passwords for individual sites; imagine how impossible it would be for an executor to locate, identify and access multiple digital accounts after your death.
So what options are available to keep your personal digital profiles secure and up-to-date and make sure that your executor can access accounts when needed? There are sites that will securely hold all your passwords on an encrypted database while there are other digital password management systems which will create and hold randomly generated passwords for multiple accounts. These are both good ways of ensuring that your personal accounts cannot be hacked so while this is an efficient and secure way of managing multiple passwords if you pass both your username and password to your executor before your death it could jeopardise your security. One way round this is to give your password and username to two different trusted people who are unconnected ensuring that the username and password are only linked following your death – so for example creating a very distinct and unpredictable username which you pass to your solicitor with instructions to give to your executor after death and then passing only your password to your executor in advance of your death.