Access Denied!

1None of us like to talk about the end of life issues, but Benjamin Franklin’s famous quote, “Nothing is certain but death and taxes,” is true and sooner or later, someone will be dealing with things we’ve left behind.

It seems like yesterday, sassy, opinionated and in the prime of my life, I thought the world was my oyster. But, I blinked and time slipped away faster than water through a sieve.

Now, when I open the paper, friends and acquaintances from high school look back at me from the obituary page. It gives you pause, especially when you notice their ages are within striking distance.

I lost my best friend of 37 years, almost six years ago. She died suddenly and too young.  Afterwards, I made a point of getting things ready for my family. My last Will & Testament is in place, and arrangements made, right down to the last detail.

However, I wasn’t aware these plans should include digital content, all of it. Photos, stories, blogs, Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest to name a few.

What’s Included in Digital Content?
  • Email accounts
  • Online Searches
  • Digital Manuscripts
  • Facebook
  • Yahoo
  • Google
  • Microsoft
  • Apple
  • YouTube
  • Twitter
  •  Blogs
  • Any other accounts where you have an online presence (too many to mention)
  • Fiction and non-fiction featured in online magazines and journals.
What Do You Want to Happen in the Event of Your Death?
  • Information to remain private?
  • Information and/or accounts deleted?
  • Surviving family members to have access to data?

Unless I specify who has access to these accounts, no one will.

What Can You Do?
  1. Put your wishes in writing.
  2. Google: Go to your account and create an “Inactive Account Manager. Without this, family members will, typically, need a court order to access.
  3. Facebook: You can choose to set up a temporary or a permanent online memorial or delete all content from the social network after you die.  However, a legacy contact most be designated for access. Refer to security/legacy settings.
  4. Yahoo: Based on the privacy terms each user signs, Yahoo will not disclose files and all inactive accounts deleted.
  5. Microsoft: Deletes inactive Outlook/Hotmail accounts; however,  data may be released with a request or a court order.
  6. Twitter: Does not provide anyone access. Your account is deleted upon notification of death.

These steps are not difficult to complete. I took care of my Google and Facebook accounts in a couple of minutes. I would recommend if you haven’t completed a Will, consider it. Not ready to make those plans?  At least write your wishes in a statement, sign, date it, attach a list of all the sites you want  included, and put it in a safe place. And the last thing, talk to your family and make your wishes known.

Talking about these issues are never pleasant, but when the time comes, I want my family to have access and/or a legal right to my words and images. What are your wishes?

What do you think? Have you made arrangements?

I’d love to hear your comments. Talk to me. Tell me your story. And as always, you can follow me on Facebook at SheilaMGood, PinterestBloglovin, Twitter @cofcmom,and Contently.


34 thoughts on “Access Denied!

  1. Pingback: Stats Reveal How to connect With Your Readers | COW PASTURE CHRONICLES

  2. I am still probably too lazy to do anything about it, but what a great bit of advice. Everyone should have a Shovel Buddy…although now I have to worry what happens if he dies before I do….Great. New problem. (Sigh!) No sleep for ME tonight.


  3. Pingback: An Audiobook Experience: “The Wolf’s Moon” by Patrick Jones | Nicholas C. Rossis

    • Nicholas, thank you so much for the ping back of my post, Access Denied. Much obliged. I did want to point out, however, this post was original to Cow Pasture chronicles. Chris Thy Story Reading Ape, reblogged my post on his site. In your comments it’s unclear who the original author (me) is. I appreciate everyone sharing my post. Just thought you might want to be aware. Thanks again!


  4. Pingback: Cow Pasture Chronicles, Sheila M. Good: Access Denied! | The Linden Chronicles: The Wolf's Moon/The River

  5. Reblogged this on TheKingsKidChronicles and commented:
    This information is so vital, and necessary. We all need to have our wills made out, even if you are young. Granted you will probably have to change it a few times as the years pass, but you never know if you’ll end up in a catastrophic accident and be killed or permanently incapacitated. It is always best to be prepared.


  6. I had not even thought about this! Thank you so much for sharing. We should all be aware that it isn’t just “old” people who die. People die in accidents every day, at every age. We all need to have things in place. We lost my sweet mother-in-law in May, but she made everything easy. Because one of the kids’ name was on all of her accounts, and the estate was modest, there was no lawyer involved in the settling of the will; no probate was necessary (in FL). She had already paid for the burial plot next to her husband’s and the arrangements made well in advance. Everything went smoothly. Lots of lessons to be learned.


    • Please accept my condolences on the loss of your mother-in-law. Sounds as if she were a strong woman who loved her family and wanted to spare them the difficulties of settling her estate. I’m glad you found the information helpful and wanted to share it. Thanks so much for taking the time to read my post and reflagging so others may be informed. I so appreciate it when my readers comment. Please stop by the Cow Pasture, again. I look forward to more conversations.


  7. Gosh I had never thought about this! I dont think many people know at all. Social media and the digital world has grown so rapidly, no one has really had time to absorb all the possible consequences. A very informative post.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Pingback: Access Denied! | Wendy Anne Darling

    • I agree, these topics make us uncomfortable. No one likes to think about not being here, but our family will appreciate the preparation. Thank you so much for stopping by the Cow Pasture and especially for reflagging my post! Much appreciated and I look forward to more conversations in the future.


  9. Pingback: Access Denied! | ldbush21

    • I’m so glad you found it timely and helpful. We don’t like thinking about these things, but time favors no one. Better safe than sorry, I always say. Thanks for stopping by and taking the time to comment.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. You are so right. Although there is much talk about dying with dignity, assisted suicide, and the like, the topic of death is still very much a taboo. Your advice to have one’s house in order before we depart is good. That is particularly true for our possessions, property, and assets. When it comes to the social media, it all depends on whether you have posted any sensitive materials that you don’t want posterity to see after you are gone. As for me, my photos on Flickr, my posts to Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest etc. can live on like a pleasant afterglow of life here on earth. I am curious what other viewers have to say.


    • Thank you Peter for taking the time to comment. I, like you am not too worried about any images that may be out there of me. However, I consider my words to be intellectual property. And, I would like my family to inherit the right to them as with any other asset. Thanks for stopping by the Cow Pasture. I hope to hear from you again.


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