Computer & Laptop Guide

If you have a computer, laptop  or any internet enabled device with a password to ‘protect it’ you should think about how you might pass on access to the device. 

Passing on a password or granting access in advance might help safeguard the content. Content safeguarded may include personal photos, videos and documents. Granting access and safeguarding your content might further help to ensure that it remains accessible for your loved ones following you death and for generations to come. 

Digital Legacy Computer

Passing on passwords and backing up your files

If you are the only person who knows the password for your device and this continues to remains the case the content saved on the device will not be easily accessed after your death. It is important to know that the device manufacturer will not help anyone else obtain access to the device for security and privacy reasons.

If you do not pass on access to your computer or laptop before you die there is a  high probability that all the content saved on the device will remain unaccessible and never be retrieved.

Does someone other than yourself know the password for your computer?

Digital death data

Our research shows that most people are now using a password on their computers. According to our research a higher percentage of computer owners are now providing their computer’s password to someone they trust. This is a positive trend however 46% of those last surveyed still had not passed on access information to someone they trust. 

Things to consider

  • Tell someone you trust the password for your computer / laptop (you might also want to do this for other password protected).
  • Find a suitable way for someone you trust to keep a record of your password.
  • Each time you update your password inform the person you trust what the new password is.
  • If you do not want anyone to obtain access to your computer or laptop after you have died tell someone your wishes.
  • Some computer’s provide a ‘hint’ to users when entering a password. The ‘hint’ feature is used to help the user remember what the password for the computer (or computer account) is. If you have told someone your computer’s password you might want to reference their name in the hint section. This would direct anyone trying to obtain access to the person entrusted with your password credentials. 
  • If you have been diagnosed with dementia you might want to provide further instructions about how you use the different software on the device and provide directions about the online services that you use.

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