Stone of stumbling and rock of offense (wordweaverlynn) wrote,
Stone of stumbling and rock of offense

Posthumous Access to Electronic Accounts

Lynne Thomas, curator of special collections extraordinaire, has a Question for the hivemind: posthumous access to electronic accounts.... One of my authors, Jay Lake, has terminal cancer. [NB: I'm not sharing anything here that Jay hasn't already done so via his blog.] I’m beginning to look at how best to handle electronic materials from social media and email accounts, specifically after the death of the account holder, as a result of working with him [more details here]. We are doing our best to navigate this together, while Jay still has the wherewithal to make decisions.

Has anybody handled this? [personal profile] oursin, is this within your purview?

This kind of topic is much in my mind lately, because of several recent events in my social circles. (Freaking important aside: Suicide is NOT A GOOD IDEA, people. Please. The amount of devastation it causes is far worse than the most depressed person can possibly perceive. If life is so wretched you need to escape from it -- something I understand from the gut -- there are less damaging solutions. Truly.)

Whether you're an archivist or not, how do you plan to handle emails, passwords, accounts, notification of friends, when you die or become incapacitated?

because I often work in coffee shops, my laptops are password-protected; in addition, I have a main password that when deployed correctly will give access to all my passwords in Firefox. And I tend to stay logged in to various sites. So my executors, as long as they have the laptop password, should be able to post to my various accounts and let people know I am gone. But I need to figure out a way to keep my passwords private for now, yet leave them available for my heirs. Any ideas?

(For the record, I am completely healthy and planning to live at least 40 years longer -- something I have the genes for, if a piano doesn't fall on me in the meantime.)

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