Chances are you have more digital assets than you think. Everything from email and social media accounts, to online financial accounts, domain names, digital media collections (music and movies), and even thing like video game avatars and frequent flier mileage accounts. Keeping these things secure involves thinking about them in different ways and planning ahead. Here’s how:
- Cataloguing. First things first, round up all of your accounts — and close down the ones you don’t need anymore. Not using that MySpace account from 2007? Or that blog you started on a whim a few years ago? Recover those passwords, then close them down. Beyond that, search high and low and create a comprehensive list of every piece of your online life — from social media accounts, to email, YouTube pages, you name it.
Search high and low and create a comprehensive list of every piece of your online life — from social media accounts, to email, YouTube pages, you name it.
- Access protection. Practice the smart basics of clean, safe online living. Strong passwords are critical; make them long combinations of letters, numerals and non-alphanumeric symbols — don’t use names or words found in a dictionary. Use different logins for each online account, and make sure they aren’t similar to one another. Create a separate email account to which you link only your online finances. There’s a lot to remember when it comes to all of the tools of securing your digital assets, but password managers and free online backup included in comprehensive security suites like Kaspersky PURE 3.0 are critical, while programs like Kaspersky Internet Security help you secure your online activity, protecting you from potential attacks while you’re executing sensitive online transactions.
- Afterlife planning. The long tail of your digital life has grown from a curiosity to a legitimate estate planning concern. You incorporate what happens to your personal, financial and business accounts into your estate planning. Decide if you want your social media accounts to live on as they are now, transition to a memorial-style format, or be shut down. Decide who you want to have access to these sites and your email, knowing that that person will potentially have access to private details of your personal life. Keep your digital information like account usernames and passwords out of your will, but be sure to explicitly dictate in the will who gets what (like your online music or movie collection) and who has what power, like a digital power of attorney. Know that laws regarding the afterlife of digital assets are evolving and incomplete, but stay on top of them and always plan ahead.