Data assets – what happens to your digital footprint when you go?

By | September 15, 2021
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An interesting question was raised at the Computer Confidence meeting yesterday, asking what measures should be put in place with regard to your digital accounts – which may include online photos, music libraries, social network profiles, or email accounts.  Will your heirs be able to access your accounts, or would you want data destroyed unseen?  Does your partner or child know about all of your financial accounts?  And there are many more questions that can be raised about how you may leave matters in a tidy fashion.  

This is not, of course, something that has interest only to the members of the Computer Confidence group, but can apply to us all.  We think that it would be good to set up a separate meeting on this subject, perhaps inviting a speaker from Age UK, or similar – and invite all members to attend.  It will help us enormously to gauge interest if you could drop us a mail at and let us know – we can then see what size venue may be required, or even if great interest, whether 2 separate meetings may be necessary.

6 thoughts on “Data assets – what happens to your digital footprint when you go?

  1. Hilary FiskHilary Fisk

    A question I have is how does one get content removed for someone on social media accounts when they die? How will an executor KNOW about social media accounts unless we maintain an up-to-date (?) list of such things with papers like our will.

    1. MandD_AdminMandD_Admin Post author

      Stewart found a pretty useful article – – see halfway down ‘many sites will not allow your executors to access your accounts.’ It is precisely this level of control that i think we need to get across. There is a difference between one person just uploading jokes to Facebook, and another recording, say, a blog/diary, and there is a world of difference between the two – and emotionally quite a bit to consider for the heir(s).

  2. Janet Wilson

    I’m very interested what happens to my digital accounts, both as a user and for being named on a will for a friend as an executor. But also we have signed the papers for either one of us to be Lasting Power of Attorney’s for 2 friends. But whilst writing this I had remembered I was a representative (recommended by the court) for my dad for his affairs. He had vascular Alzheimer’s and wasn’t happy, but he didn’t use a computer. But my query is what happens in all these situations and what protection would the persons have who are acting as executor, LPA’s or Representative as indeed the person who they are acting for. I expect it could be very difficult.

  3. Janet Wilson

    The programme ‘Rip off Britain’ BBC1 yesterday 4th October 2021. They had a section on how to get access of digital photographs/videos stored on a close deceased persons phone. it seems you need to get a court order to get a company to give you the password to get into the photos. One lady did have her husbands password, but she accidently locked the phone, and Apple will not unlock the phone unless she gets a court order.
    it seems mostly gone are the days when there were photos and negatives to distribute after a persons passing. Now so many are taken digitally and not printed out and so many people do not have a solicitor. Some have made wills say from a kit brought from ‘WH Smith’, how does one go about getting access to the photos/videos that mean so much to us all?

    1. Martin FiskMartin Fisk

      I think that this would certainly be one of the things to be discussed at a meeting on this topic. Sadly, only a couple of people from the Computer Confidence group have indicated an interest, and this should be a vital topic for all of our U3A members. It is a pity that the programme did not indicate that there are ways to unlock an iPhone, and these are not too difficult.

  4. Margaret ShawMargaret Shaw

    I’ve only just found this item, but would be interested: my brother has just asked me to be his executor and wanted to just give me a list of his passwords on the assumption that would be all I needed in order to sort out his affairs…

    I’m not sure putting an item on the website is likely to attract the level of attention it deserves. I don’t routinely the site for new content. Do you want to try something in the newsletter?


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