Despite being very much alive, users found their accounts switched to a “memorialized account,” reserved for the deceased, with the word “remembering” posted beside their name.
A statement reading: “We hope people who love Mark will find comfort in the things others share to remember and celebrate his life,” appeared on Mark Zuckerberg’s profile before being corrected.
Facebook provides a form to request the memorialization of accounts of the deceased. It requires documentation of a death, presumably to prevent people from triggering errant notices. If this option is selected, their profile will continue to exist, but only as a memorial. A logon is no longer available but people can post memorial messages to the deceased.
Many people woke up Thursday to find that their accounts had been memorialized and Facebook thought they were dead. I imagine that could be very scary for someone who’s still alive. The bug has now been fixed
To learn more about memorialization and what to do about other online accounts when someone dies, go to www.diesmart.com.
I’ve written a lot in the past about identity theft and the importance of protecting your online accounts. These six points were contained in an email from my mortgage broker and I think they definitely are worth repeating.
1. Update software. The latest computer, smartphone and apps software is the most secure. Update now and choose ‘Update Automatically’ in Settings. Update your WiFi router on its app or Web setup page.
2. Strengthen passwords. Make them long strings of random upper and lower case letters, numbers and symbols. Use a different one for every site. Turn on two-factor authentication for Apple ID, Google, Facebook (‘login approvals’), Microsoft, Twitter (‘login verification’) and banks. Use a password manager to sync devices.
3. Encrypt data. Makes it hard for someone to access information if they get your device. Encrypt with a password or fingerprint screen lock, or turn on ‘encryption’ in Settings. Use Disk Utility on external drives.
4. Privatize browsers. Select ‘clear browsing data.’ (This deletes passwords which shouldn’t be saved on sites anyway.) Activate ‘Do Not Track’ in Settings. Block trackers with an extension (Ghostery, Disconnect, EFF’s Privacy Badger). Opt out of ad tracking at http://www.aboutads.info/choices/
5. Check apps. Find out which ones access locations and data and turn off if not used. Check Settings for Privacy permissions. Check Google and Facebook security. Delete Facebook apps you don’t want.
6. Think! Don’t click on email links or attachments you don’t expect. Make online payments only on secure “https” sites. Double-check public hotspot names, or use a VPN—HotSpot Shield (Windows, Android), Cloak (iPhone, Mac). Use PayPal on unfamiliar sites. Don’t pay online with debit cards or put account info in emails.
For more information about protecting your digital assets, go to www.diesmart.com.
Oregon became the first state to adopt the revised Uniform fiduciary Access to Digital Assets Act when Governor Kate Brown signed it into law on March 3, 2016. It will become effective on January 1, 2017.
The revised act is designed to ensure that account holders can retail control of their digital property and can plan for its disposition after their death. It also helps avoid circumstances where online service providers delete deceased’s accounts without authorization or refuse to hand over access and information to permitted fiduciaries.
Any free Yahoo account will automatically be cancelled after it has been inactive for 90 days. Premium services, however, will continue to be charged until Yahoo has been officially notified of the death of the account holder.
Only a person who has the authority to settle the deceased’s estate, i.e. an executor, can notify them about the death. To do that, the following information must be sent to Yahoo at Custodian of Record, Yahoo Inc., 701 First Ave., Sunnyvale, CA 94089-1019:
1) The executor’s identification.
2) Notification of their appointment as executor.
3) A Copy of the death certificate.
What if the executor or family member just wants the deceased’s password or access to their Yahoo account? No password will be issued by Yahoo to the executor or anyone else.
Only the executor of the estate can close a PayPal account that is held in the name of the deceased. To do so, the executor must fax the following documentation to 402-537-5732:
1) A cover sheet that says the account holder is deceased and the executor wishes to close the account.
2) A copy of the account holder’s death certificate.
3) A copy of the deceased account holder’s will or other legal documentation that provides verification about the executor.
4) A copy of a photo ID of the executor.
The faxed documentation will be reviewed and, if approved, the account will be closed. If funds are available in the account, a check will be issued in the account holder’s name, and the Executor of the Estate will then have the ability to cash the check.
What if somone wants the deceased’s password or access to the account?
According to PayPal, any requests for information about an account other than to close it must be obtained through a subpoena.