Death of a password
Originally posted Jan 4, 2018, Revised 21st Oct 2019 | David Moore
It isn't a fun subject but none of us escape it. Death.
All those funeral plan ad's on TV annoy me. When I am dead I don't reckon much is up to me.
Sling me over the fence for the Tassie Devils to eat I reckon. Don't waste money on my account.
The problem is that one way or another, despite our best efforts, we often leave at least a bit of a mess behind.
So it is a timely but sad reminder, make sure you have someone else allocated/added to receive recovery emails, password resets etc. Set-up for your online accounts.
When someone is dying their ability to remember and access such things becomes slowly and Inevitably more difficult.
Relatives and carers probably need access to your online resources but if recorded passwords and reset / recovery options are not working often there's nothing they can do.
With email, Facebook, messenger and other social media often being a family's only communication channel, being unable to communicate can be a heartache.
Google and the like are swamped with such requests and you may never prove that you are supposed to have access to these things even if you do manage to talk to someone.
So make Sure you have your relatives and people you care for set recovery methods (email, SMS etc.) that allow people other than themselves to also be chosen as a password reset option.
In some cases even I am that person i.e. a trusted, impartial third party. But really this should be filed away with your WIII and executors memorandum (talk to a lawyer).
No-one escapes, not even your hard disk.
Of course, you could also choose a password management tool like 1Password to share and synchronise all such information.
For example, my wife and I each have our own 1 password tool with all Our passwords etc. in it.
HOWEVER, the key to our plan is that she has my MASTER PASSWORD in her 1 Password and I have hers.
If either of us dies we have access to the others online accounts and everything else that needs a username and password. It is great but I suspect that is a level of work that most people don't fancy.
It kind of makes sense for your computer person to be the recover point for your online accounts, but check with them first and make sure it is something everyone is comfortable with.
From a pragmatic and liability perspective I don't, as a rule, keep anyone's password's. But in special circumstances we computer folk have no option.
For more reading and a handy checklist go here https://internetnz.nz/publications/death-and-internet and download the PDF.
Take care, get pro-active.
P.S. I think it is meant to be a ghost. ;-)