Would you leave your Internet passwords in your will?

Would you leave your Internet passwords in your will?

Would you leave your passwords for services like iTunes or Facebook to a loved one in your will? A study out yesterday suggested that it’s a trend which could be growing.

The Rackspace-commissioned survey looked at British attitudes to cloud storage, finding that 53% of the 2000 respondents had what they consider ‘treasured possessions’ stored with cloud services, while 11% said they had ‘addressed their digital entities with care’. Examples of this given? Leaving passwords to their digital treasures in their will – or planning to do so.

It’s an interesting point. The videos, music and TV shows you’ve bought from stores like iTunes is increasingly stored in online accounts which friends and family may find hard to salvage after you’re gone.

Giving out your password to someone you trust for use after you die is a good way of ensuring that all the digital content you’ve amassed can live on. After all, just because that copy of the Godfather trilogy or the entire back-catalogue of the Rolling Stones isn’t physical doesn’t mean you can’t pass it on as you would a DVD collection.

Of course, then there’s the whole issue of your social media presence. You may not want to pass that on (who wants anyone else to read all their Twitter DMs or Facebook messages), but at the same time, maybe it would be a nice thing to pass on anyway. The dead can’t get embarrassed, and as long as you haven’t committed horrific crimes in your private online existence, a copy of your digital identity could be a brilliant way of keeping your digital identity alive when you’re gone.

While it may still seem a little bit of a strange idea, it could well take off – at least until we all start streaming our media instead of owning it. Will you pass your digital treasures on?

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