Security Corner

Feb 21 2012   1:46AM GMT

How will you pass on your passwords when you pass away? Part 1

Ken Harthun Ken Harthun Profile: Ken Harthun

Have you ever considered what your family would go through trying to gain access to your various online accounts when you die? I know it’s not a pleasant thing to think about, but nothing about death and the various arrangements thereof ever is pleasant. Yet, it is something that must be done at some point, lest your family go through additional agony during an already difficult time. If you haven’t considered how to make it easy for your family to clean up and/or transfer your online accounts after your demise, then this article is for you.

I actually started to think about it after a client requested that I provide him with all of the logins to the various servers, backups, managed endpoint protection and special support email accounts. He said he got to thinking about where he would be if I “got hit by a bus.” He’d be lost and would not be able to manage his business or replace my services smoothly. That day, I gave him everything I had and wrote up how to change all of the logins if he needed to.

I also gave instructions to my wife on how to login to my computer with my credentials and how to use my master password for LastPass to access all of my passwords (which includes some of her accounts as well). I know what you’re thinking: What if I change the passwords and get hit by that bus before I tell her the new passwords?

I have a couple of rather ingenious solutions to that dilemma, but first, you MUST go get and start using a password manager if you have not done so already. I’m a LastPass guy, but that is by no means the last word (pun intended) on the subject.

The solutions are coming in Part 2.

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  • JONdesign1
    I've often wondered about this. I have a friend who died a few years back and his FaceBook account is still active. I know it's not the same thing as having the passwords to your bank account or company bookkeeping inaccessible to your loved ones but it does make you think.
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