Where Do Our Online Lives Go When We Die?

Internet users are usually warned that any personal information they put online stays there indefinitely, and can come back to haunt them later in their personal and professional lives. But some out there apparently believe it doesn't linger long enough.

A range of new Web sites have popped up in recent months to manage our digital information after we die. Essentially, these sites function like a cyber will, storing and bequeathing the products of our online lives - passwords, user names and photo albums - to designated loved ones.

Legacy Locker is one such site, which claims to be a "safe and secure way to pass your online accounts to your friends and loved ones." Users who sign up for Legacy Locker can essentially give their close friends and relatives a key to their "digital legacy." The “assets” that are passed on by this service can include your Twitter and LinkedIn accounts, Gmail and blog services like Wordpress, and even your Party Poker account (so your loved ones can inherit your online gambling addiction.)

According to a write-up in TechCrunch from when the site first launched, “Users can select which account information will be distributed to whom (for example, you could send your PayPal credentials to your spouse, and your Zoho account to coworkers).” Legacy Locker claims to have a stringent verification process to make sure you’re actually dead, part of which includes having someone close to you send a death certificate.

These services cost $30 if you just want to store your information for a year, and $300 if you sign up for life. There is a free account option, but that limits you to three assets and only one beneficiary.

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