Digital legacy

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Lilmothiit
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Digital legacy

Post by Lilmothiit » Sat Feb 03, 2018 8:32 am

I've been thinking about digital legacies, and the ability of others to access my data in the event of my death or incapacitation.

I am the only one in my family who uses Linux. My computer is encrypted, and so are my backups. I have the passwords written down in case people other than myself need to access my data, but that's an obvious security concern. But it seems like my only real option at the moment.

So this got me wondering - do people here have a way of dealing with their digital legacy? Have people here thought about it? And is there any chance that a digital legacy function/program might be built into Linux distros in the future so that there is one thing we have to worry about?

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BenTrabetere
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Re: Digital legacy

Post by BenTrabetere » Sat Feb 03, 2018 1:46 pm

I considered it, but never took any action until last year when I took over managing my mother's passwords. My solution involves her safe deposit box and two flash drives.

I took over managing her passwords when I discovered she used the same password for Farcebook, Pinterest, one healthcare site, and two banking/finance sites. I then discovered she really only had four passwords, she used the exact same three passwords for half of her online accounts, and for almost all of the others she used a slight alteration of those three. I say "almost" because she did have one unique password, and she used it to register in my sister's dog in the microchip pet recovery system - the password she use there was that snarling beast's name.

Oh, it gets worse. She had a "password book" that contained login information for all of her accounts.

And if THAT doesn't give you the screaming terrors, she would take her "password book" with her when she traveled. In case she needs to get online and can't guess her password in four tries. The 'can't guess her password in four tries' was the only spark of brilliance in her password scheme; she reckoned if she only used three passwords she reduced the chance of getting locked out of an account. There is a twisted logic at work....

After much debate and protest from her, I set up a password locker on all of her devices and changed all of her passwords. I tried to show her how to use the password locker, but that more debate and protest than I can handle. So we reached a compromise - I would manage her passwords, and she would not change anything without informing me.

It was during this ordeal that I took steps to deal with her digital legacy. Each month I have to take her to her bank to shuffle papers in and out of her safe deposit box. My solution involves her safe deposit box and two flash drives. The flash drives contain her password file and a plain text file containing its password, and several plain text files of personal information. I copy updated versions of those files to the other flash drive each month prior to the safe deposit box trip .

It is not a perfect solution, and it might not work for someone who leads a more complicated life than my mother. But it is a solution that includes an off-site, secure location.

Lilmothiit
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Re: Digital legacy

Post by Lilmothiit » Sat Feb 03, 2018 7:14 pm

Off site storage of data and passwords... I hadn't considered that...

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Pjotr
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Re: Digital legacy

Post by Pjotr » Sat Feb 03, 2018 7:32 pm

I think when the time comes for me to die, I'll just let my digital presence remain in an orphaned and mummified state. No one needs to access it after me.

All the pictures I want to share have been shared already with the people I care about, I don't do Facebook nor most of the other nasty social media stuff (never felt the slightest inclination for that), my insurance and tax data have all been printed on paper.

No bother, no worries. Let it be... :mrgreen:
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Re: Digital legacy

Post by Rocky Bennett » Sun Feb 04, 2018 3:01 pm

My digital legacy. I do not do any real stuff online, but I do have accounts here and there, but that is NOT my digital legacy. My digital legacy is....

I am 60 years old and I started collecting records in 1966. I have amassed a collection of music that includes jazz and blues and rock & roll that spans over a century. I started digitizing my collection in 2007 and it is an going project. I have about 12 terabytes of music right now.

I collected all of the family pictures and documents spanning back to the 1880s. I have most of the original pictures and documents in boxes, but I began the arduous task of scanning these precious mementos in 2004. It is an going project. I have all of this digital data stored on multiple hard drives. Right now I keep digital mirrors of this at both of my children's homes and two copies here at my house, 5 copies total not including what is hooked up to the computer.

About once a year I update these hard drives to include the work I have done for the year. I go to each daughter's house and trade out a new set of hard drives for the old set. Soon I will have to include my Grandchildren in this annual updating of digital information.

That is my digital legacy. If I die today the project is about 90% complete. If I live a few more years, all of kids and Grandkids will have copies of their legacy neatly stored on hard drives. Will they care? Probably not. But it is my life's work.

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Portreve
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Re: Digital legacy

Post by Portreve » Sun Feb 04, 2018 3:57 pm

I've been thinking about this very subject a lot lately.

Frankly, most people I know wouldn't have the technical competence to help out in the case of my incapacity or death. Moreover, the bulk of my friends and acquaintances do not know each other, are online, and would have no clue what was happening without being informed.

I will not elaborate on my own present sensitive data organization or storage mechanisms (or if I even do or don't have any) but suffice it to say I am struggling with this topic.

Pjotr raises an interesting perspective. Clearly, you have to care in order to bother taking action.

At this point, nobody would be able to settle anything related to me: phone service, Internet, retirement, insurance, medical or end of life wishes, memories, etc.
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Lilmothiit
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Re: Digital legacy

Post by Lilmothiit » Mon Feb 05, 2018 1:36 am

Pjotr wrote:I think when the time comes for me to die, I'll just let my digital presence remain in an orphaned and mummified state. No one needs to access it after me.
What about your banking accounts and passwords? Or other important financial data/passwords? Are you going to leave them "orphaned and mummified" as well?

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Pjotr
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Re: Digital legacy

Post by Pjotr » Mon Feb 05, 2018 5:27 am

Lilmothiit wrote:
Pjotr wrote:I think when the time comes for me to die, I'll just let my digital presence remain in an orphaned and mummified state. No one needs to access it after me.
What about your banking accounts and passwords? Or other important financial data/passwords? Are you going to leave them "orphaned and mummified" as well?
I have a shared bank account with my wife. In the event that we both should die at the same time, our children are our heirs and my bank will acknowledge that. :wink:
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Pierre
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Re: Digital legacy

Post by Pierre » Mon Feb 05, 2018 10:36 am

one of my family keeps their passwords
( which are very long and complex )
on a USB flash stick, which floats around on their physical desktop.

so, you would have know what it does & be able to physically able to nick it . . .
- otherwise, their windows machine & their various accounts - - would be reasonably safe.
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Portreve
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Re: Digital legacy

Post by Portreve » Sun Feb 11, 2018 2:06 pm

Of course, if you really don't care, then after you're dead, you would no longer be around to worry about who (if anyone) would pick up the pieces.

So, in that sense, does this really matter?
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