Note: Marieke and I got divorced in 2020. This post might not reflect the current situation.
I’m not planning to pass away anytime soon. Still, I spent some time weekend securing my ‘virtual will’. Over my last 15 years on the internet, I generated huge amounts of data and built a presence on a vast number of social networks. But … what happens to this when I die?
Accessing a deceased person’s account is a serious hassle. Not only Google (where I keep most of my email), but also Twitter and Facebook have pretty extensive procedures in place.
In a way it shouldn’t be too easy to access my accounts claiming I’m death. But in another way, I don’t want my parents or future wife to spend days or weeks trying to convince Google, Twitter or Facebook that I’m really dead.
And I have a tight regimen when it comes to my password. At all times, I maintain 4 different passwords (ranging in difficulty and importance) and change these every 2 months. E.g. I use the lowest level (level 4) password for new social networks I test, have a level 2 password for my email, Twitter, Facebook, home network admin and the highest level (level 1) for services that store different passwords or store really secure info (financial details, creditcards, etc). That is great for security, but makes it even more difficult to make sure my relatives can access my accounts when I pass away.
That is why I spent some time securing my accounts and passwords this weekend.
Currently, I use a setup where I store accounts and specific instructions for accounts (call it my ‘virtual will’) in 1Password under a pseudonym (to discourage hackers to try and hack my own name). 1Passwords is secure (see Quora and 1Password’s own statement), is easy for me to implement in my daily habits and gives me the opportunity to store various kinds of data.
That -amongst other reasons- is the main reason I chose 1Password over services like Passmywill.com (limited; safe?) or storing passwords in a file in Dropbox (not safe!), Evernote or another server.
The master password to my 1Password account is kept in two seperate physical safes, only accessible by parents, my kid brother and my fiancee.
But whatever setup you choose, think about what happens to your accounts when you pass away. Don’t make your death even harder to your relatives than it already is.