When you die, your friends and family will know who you wish to distribute your physical assets if you leave a will. However, will anyone know what you want to be done with your social media accounts?
A survey by life insurance broker LifeSearch revealed that 24% of Brits would prefer a “data death” when they pass on, with automatic deletion from the internet of all their email and social media accounts.
In addition, the survey found that 12% of UK residents were concerned about what would happen to their digital accounts after death, either because their loved ones would have the burden of getting the accounted deleted or would become embarrassed when viewing their private messages.
Nearly 50% were worried that hackers could access their email and social media accounts and upset their loved ones, and 40% did not want their data and private messages to be revealed to a wider audience.
However, the survey also found that 92% have not discussed what they wanted their loved ones to do with their digital accounts after their death.
Currently, the process to claim ownership of digital accounts after a person dies varies between providers, with some requiring the provision of a death certificate.
“Understandably, this is something that not many of us are keen to discuss,” said Emma Walker, LifeSearch’s Chief Marketing Officer. “But avoiding essential conversations about our digital life after death could leave our loved ones locked out, unable to take control or at the mercy of hackers should the worst happen.”