What would happen if you were to die tomorrow? Could your survivors access all the stuff that you’ve got stored online that they would want to keep?
It’s not exactly a topic that most of us want to think about, but with so much of our lives being stored in the “cloud” it’s becoming more and more important to consider.
And as internet marketers, we’ve got even more stuff out there that’s strictly online. In fact, I wrote a post about this a while back – Do You Have A Business Disaster Plan?
The Backupify blog posted an article about Gmail in particular a few days ago – What happens to my Gmail account when I die?.
Put more simply, can my wife inherit my Gmail account when I die?
This is more than an academic exercise: I have a number of online accounts and services that send primary notifications to my Gmail account. It’s entirely possible my wife may not be able to access my Health Savings Account or Roth IRA in a timely fashion without access to my Gmail account.
That’s a good point – lots of us probably have this kind of personal stuff that passes through Gmail.
Not to mention all the internet marketing related services and memberships that are also probably coming through Gmail.
Then there’s things like photos stored on Flickr or some other service, all your personal stuff on Facebook and all the other services you use regularly.
The whole idea of cloud storage and all these online services is new enough that this succession issue hasn’t really become a big deal. But the longer the services are around, the more problems people will run into over this.
I’m sure these companies will have to start implementing policies for these types of issues before too long, but in the meantime make sure you have a system in place for backing up anything you want to be easily accessible for your family in case something happens to you.
If it’s backed up somewhere outside the “cloud” it’s going to be a lot easier for them to access.