Three technical steps you must complete before you die

I know – it’s a dark subject. But in today’s digital age, we need to plan what happens to all of our online accounts, data, notes, photos, videos, websites, playlists, blogs, and subscriptions when we’re gone.

Speaking of subscriptions, more and more families are ditching streaming services. Money is tight and you should consider quitting the ones you use the least. Tap or click here to see best practices to lower your streaming, cable, and internet bills.

I don’t just mean business documents or tax forms on the data side. Everyone should have a plan to protect their precious photos and videos. I hear from too many people on mine national radio show who have lost everything.

Take these steps now to ensure your accounts are in the right hands after your death.

your Apple account

Apple’s Legacy Contact finally debuted with iOS 15.2 as a secure option to give someone access to data stored in your Apple account after you die. This includes photos, messages, notes, files, apps, and device backups.

Some information—like movies, music, books, or subscriptions you’ve purchased with your Apple ID, and data stored in Keychain (billing information and passwords)—can’t be accessed by a legacy contact.

You can add more than one legacy contact and all can access the account to make decisions. The person must be at least 13 years old and will receive an access key if you designate them as your legacy contact.

FRANKFURT, GERMANY MARCH, 2017: Apple logo on an Apple store. Apple is the multinational technology company headquartered in Cupertino, California and sells consumer electronics products.
Apple’s legacy Contact finally debuted with iOS 15.2.

Here’s how to set it up on your iPhone:

  • Open minded settings and tap your name.
  • Go to Password & Security > legacy contact.
  • Beat Add older contact. You may need to use Face ID, Touch ID, or your passcode to authenticate.
  • If you’re in a Family Sharing group, you can choose a group member. Or you can type Choose someone else to add someone from your contacts.
  • Select the person from your contacts. Beat Continue.
  • You will be asked how you want to share your access key. Choose Print access key or send access key.
  • If you choose to send the key digitally, Apple will create a message letting your contact know that you’ve added them as your legacy contact. Beat Send.

Do you want to be prepared? Don’t miss this Tech How-to: Automatically Alert Your Loved Ones in an Emergency.

BANGKOK, THAILAND - March 18, 2018 : Facebook social media app logo on login, login registration page on mobile app screen on iPhone X (10) in hand of person working on e-commerce shopping store
You can designate a legacy contact on Facebook.

Do the same for Facebook

  • On Facebook, you can designate a legacy contact who can write posts, update your profile photo, and receive a copy of everything you’ve done on Facebook after you pass.
  • On desktop: If you’re signed in to Facebook, go to Settings & Privacy > settings and search Memorialization Settings.

On mobile devices: select it three line menu Option at bottom right. Scroll down to Settings & Privacy. Tap to open it, then select settings. Select from the account menu at the top of the next screen Personal and Account Information > Account Ownership and Control. You will see the reminder settings. Click to select your legacy contact and notify your contact that they are now in that role.

Once you have your legacy contact set, go to memorial settings. You can choose whether the person you select can download a copy of what you have shared in your feed, including posts, photos, videos and profile information.

Once a year you will receive a reminder of the person you have chosen to be your estate contact. If you are sure that your persona will not change or that you will remember to change it if necessary, you can click on “Stop annual reminders” in the “Yearly reminder” section.

If you would like your account to be deleted after your death, go to the Memorial Settings page and scroll down. Just above the “Close” button there is an option you can click that says “Request that your account be deleted after you die.”

Don’t have a copy of all the photos and videos you’ve uploaded to Facebook? How to get them.

August 19, 2018 Mountain View / CA / USA - Google logo on one of the buildings in the Googleplex, the company's main campus in Silicon Valley
By default, Google automatically deletes account records after 18 months.

Automatically clear your search history and location data

Let’s focus on protecting your privacy, even after you’re off Google. You probably have a few things in your search, watch, and location history that you’d rather keep private. Anyone with access to your account only sees what you want to see by setting up automatic deletion.

By default, Google automatically deletes account records after 18 months. If you want to shorten this window, you can do it in a few steps.

  • Go to your google activity controls and sign in with your Google account.
  • Under Web and App Activity, see Delete automatically. Make sure this is rotated on.
  • Click the arrow to select your preferred period: 3 months, 18 months or 36 months.

There are other steps you can take, including creating a digital checklist that serves as an overview of all your accounts, passwords, and online assets. Tap or click here for steps to create and share your own. Three technical steps you must complete before you die


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