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In the Unlikely Event

Of one’s own death, what happens to all your emails, websites, blogs, bank accounts and bills with online only access?  Searching for another topic, I came on a nifty article in Time Magazine, “How to Manage your online life when you’re dead.”  There are several companies now that will store your details–passwords, and so on.  They’ll check in with you periodically to see if you’re still alive, and if some number of e-mails go unanswered, they’ll release your information to a designated recipient–who has to present your death certificate in order to get access to your files.

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I’ve actually often wondered about how my husband or estate would tell American Express and everyone else to cancel my accounts.  These services seem to provide the answer.  Now, all we can do is hope that they’re not run by enterprising 28-year-old hackers like Albert Gonzalez.  Who, I gather, is not related to another criminal mastermind, a former US attorney general of (almost) the same name–Alberto Gonzalez was one of the key promoters of Bush’s policies on torture.

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  • I don’t think I even want to contemplate this. Either for myself or my closest family, but it will obviously happen at some point.

    I still have a link on my blog to Dina Rabinovitch, although she died almost two years ago. Her blog is still there, and even after her death she links to my blog too. It was a good place to meet in the first few weeks and months, for people to discuss Dina’s life, and her fundraising for breast cancer continued successfully.

    http://takeoffyourrunningshoes.typepad.com/take_off_your_running_sho/

  • Thanks for sending us to Dina Rabinovitch’s site. She’s absolutely right about how maternal death vibrates down the generation–women used to die in childbed at alarming rates, leaving their older children to fend for themselves, alas–with effects that take some generations to undo.

  • This is something I have contemplated, as well. My significant other thinks the computer is the devil’s tool and refuses to touch it. I use it for parts of his business (typing invoices, etc.) so I wonder sometimes what he would do.
    As for my blog, I’m sure very few people would notice I was missing in action!

  • Idzan Ismail

    Please don’t think of death.
    I wish you many, many more healthy and happy years.
    I want to continue reading your books.

  • While doing some research on Pirate Radio, in which my brother was very active, I found an on-line club he started, one of the last post was someone bashing him for not keeping up the site. That post was two years after my brothers suicide. It made me angry, and sad. But that’s the internet, all filled with our cyberfingerprints and ghosts.

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