What happens to your online accounts after you die

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What happens to your online accounts after you die
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Unless you deactivate them, your social media accounts could outlive you. So what happens to them after you die? It depends.

Read more: Social media used in new form of elderly abuse

What happens to your social media accounts

Recently a former New York Times columnist’s Twitter account was hacked. But the columnist, David Carr, died in 2015.

A handful of Carr’s followers realized the account had been taken over, and Twitter righted the problem soon after. But if Carr hadn’t been such a high-profile person, things might’ve gone differently.

So, what’s a person to do if their deceased loved one leaves behind a digital life? On Twitter, there are really only two options: Leave the account alone or request to have it deactivated.

Read more: How to keep your digital footprint small and secure

Other social sites have more options for family members. Facebook users can select a legacy contact in the event of their own passing.

Legacy contacts can memorialize a person’s account, write a pinned post, respond to new friend requests, and update profile and cover photos of the deceased person. But even if no legacy contact is specified for a user who dies, Facebook’s policy is to memorialize accounts of deceased people.

Other sites like Google, YouTubePinterestLinkedIn and Instagram also have ways for accounts to be removed after the owner dies.

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