Mar 20, 2009
Amber

Signing off the mortal coil

It’s something every adult thinks about at some point in time, “What will happen if I’m suddenly gone?” Many of us consider things like what will happen to our possessions, assets, pets, remains, organs and loved ones should we suddenly pass on. Some of us have plans, either verbally given to family or written out in a living will or trust.

Slightly morbid
But what about our online identities? How will the people we game with, chat with and interact with online ever know what happened? I know I’m not the only one who has thought about this because there’s a site for it: SlightlyMorbid. For $9.95, $19.95 or $49.95, this service will allow you to create a list of friends and a list of trusted contacts. The site then creates a certificate with simple instructions to be given to your designated trusted contacts in case of emergency so that they can notify the people you know online.

Of course, this service seems like something I could do on my own, which is probably a good idea. If you don’t have a trusted friend already with access to your accounts/friends list online, then it’s a good idea to keep that information somewhere with your other important documents either printed out or on a flash drive.

The death switch
But not only is letting friends know you’re gone important. When people pass on they often take with them passwords and other security items that may only be in their head. Now there is a site for people with such an issue, Deathswitch.com. The site will prompt you for a password on a schedule you decide to essentially make sure you’re still alive. If you do not enter a password after a certain amount of time and several prompts, it will deduce that you are either gone or critically disabled. It will then send out your pre-scripted message to the emails you specified. What messages does the site suggest? Computer passwords, financial advice and bank account information, final wishes, unspeakable secrets, love notes, last word in an argument (really?), funeral instructions and more! Of course, I’m not sure of the legality of final wishes and funeral instructions sent by email, but it’s worth a shot.

The basic Deathswitch service is free, 1 message will be sent to 1 recipient with no attachments allowed. For $19.95 a year, you can have up to 30 recipients, 10 per message and can add attachments.

Creeped out yet? Don’t be. It’s just another fact of life after all.

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