Tag Archives: death

Facebook – Do you remain in cyberspace forever?

If a loved one has left his or her login information – user name and password – where you can find it, there’s no problem. All you have to do is the following:

1) Open the account that you want to delete.

2) Go to Account Settings.

3) Look for the Deactivate Account button at the bottom of the page.

4) Just click on it and the account is deactivated.

Another option is to memorialize the account.  This means that certain sensitive information is removed from the account and privacy is set so only confirmed friends can see the profile or locate it in a search.  The Wall remains so these friends and family can leave posts in remembrance.  To memorialize an account, go to http://www.facebook.com/l.php?u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2Fhelp%2Fcontact.php%3Fshow_form%3Ddeceased&h=e5091bd54d848d4ca97832694b87dcd0.  This will bring up a list of Facebook FAQs; one of them says “I’d like to report a deceased user or an account that needs to be memorialized.”  Within that FAQ is a link to the correct form where you will need to enter the information requested.

Facebook says  ”that in order to protect the privacy of the deceased user, we cannot provide login information for the account to anyone.”  They do claim to honor requests from close family members to close the account completely; however, we were unable to find any information on how to do so. 

Perhaps the deceased’s account will remain in cyberspace forever!

If you’d like to learn more about digital assets, check out our book “Grave Robbers…How to prevent identity theft of the deceased.”

AOL – Will you be online forever?

AOL makes it easy for you to keep, access or cancel the account of a loved one. 

Any member of the deceased’s family can call AOL member services at 800-827-6364.  You will be asked for some information about the deceased and your relation to him or her.   Then they will send paperwork that needs to be filled out.  Once it has been completed and returned to AOL, it will be reviewed and the account will be updated to allow you to access it. 

If you do nothing and the account remains inactive for more than 90 days, the deceased’s screen name will be deactivated.  If it is a free email account, it will be cancelled after only 30 days of inactivity.  If the screen name is assigned to a fee-based service, someone must pay any amount owned on that account at the time it is cancelled.

To learn more about how to handle someone’s online accounts after they die, as well as to identify things you should do to protect the identity of that person, check out the book  “Grave Robbers…How to prevent identity theft of the deceased.”