I have discovered that much like death, people don't like to talk about the subject of cybersecurity.
Whilst both these topics are relevant to all of us, we avoid speaking about them because we are frightened.
I have been learning about cyber attacks, in the hope that by becoming informed, I will feel less afraid of them.
Are you afraid of cyber death? Perhaps that is a term that you may not have heard mentioned before, but your cyber life will not die in the same way as your physical life will. Does that concern you? Your digital profile would probably still exist on the internet if you died tomorrow.
Perhaps you don't think that you have much of a cyber life? You may have a very small one, or you may have a huge record of digital information about you, floating in data clouds around the world.
When I wrote about a chatbot app, "Will You Live On In A Bot?" the subject horrified many of my readers. Perhaps we do want to remain digitally eternal as there is little inclination to make plans for ending our digital lives. How many accounts have you made on the internet that ask the question: "what would you like to happen to the account in the event of your death?" Facebook does, and so do Google, but how many others? Should a legacy clause be added to all new online accounts?
One of the things that we are advised to do, is to create back up copies of our data so that we can access them in the event of a cyber attack. Losing precious data, is catastrophic for businesses, but what about personal data, like our photographs? Do we create backups, more data?
When I speak to families of people whose relatives have died in tragic accidents, closing their internet accounts is a time-consuming process. Some do not attempt it and ignore them. But inactive accounts and social media profiles can be used by criminals, and identity theft may implicate other family members who are grieving.
Perhaps we should pay more attention to how many accounts we are creating online and consider at least recording our account usernames. If you have not come across us before we have designed The Digital Legacy Toolkit, which can be used alongside your Will to record these important details for an executor or relative, managing your affairs, in the event of your death.
If you have not yet set up your Facebook Legacy contact, or your Google inactivity manager, then we have screencast tutorials on our website that show you how to do it. The link is here.