Feb 05, 2014 12:18 AM

Is There an Online Life After Death?

Have you ever wondered what happens to Facebook pages, email accounts, and blogs of people who pass away? Do their online friends ever find out? Do their followers and readers miss them? Does their absence have an impact on the online world watsoever? If you have at least one friend that you hold dear in the Internet world, you probably have.


The tricky part about the Internet is that you interact and often get emotionally involved with people you've never met in real life. These people, no matter how deeply they may care about you, will not typically call you at home or at work to check up on you. Their only way of communicating with you is through the Internet so, when you are no longer able to log on, they are left worrying and wondering whatever happened to you. To make matters worse, if you've kept your login information a secret, they will most likely never know. 

Most websites and email services have a strict policy about giving out their clients' information, even long after their demise. Even if a family member manages to verify his relationship to the deceased account holder, he would still need a signed authorization to lift the confidentiality agreement. Therefore, your family will still be unable to access or manage your Internet accounts unless you've provided them with your written permission to do so.


The stakes are even higher when you own a profitable e-store or website. Your loved ones will not be able to collect the profits, and they will have no control over the fate of your online business activities. To prevent this, you can either share your account details with a trusted family member, or choose to include your online assets in your will. While making arrangements for your own death is never pleasant, it will save your family lots of trouble.


Your online friends may be shocked by your absence, and your Facebook page may be turned into a memorial wall for them to share their memories of you. Your email accounts will eventually be shut down, and their content will remain stored safely in your provider's servers. However, unless you make sure your family can access your personal accounts, your Internet pages will continue to float eternally in the endless online space.

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