At Hillcrest Funeral Home, we understand the changing needs of our clients and one of those changes is the prevalence of social media in our lives. There are an estimated 30 million Facebook profiles belonging to the deceased. When a loved one passes away, there are ways to protect and remove their personal data from these social media sites as well as deactivate any email accounts that may still be active. Have a look below to see what steps must be taken for some of the most popular social media websites and email providers.
Facebook: Facebook will not grant anyone access to a deceased user account, but if the user of the account is deceased, their page will be turned into a memorial page once requested. By filling out the form to turn an deceased users page into a memorial page, Facebook will remove sensitive information on the account like status updates and will only allow current friends to access the page. Family members will then be allowed to customize the page of the deceased user.
Gmail: Google has launched the Inactive Account Manager, a new setting that tells Google what to do with Gmail, Google+, Picassa, YouTube, and other Google accounts when users are no longer there to manage them.
Rather than asking loved ones for a death certificate, the setting is more like a timer that automatically shutters the account if it remains inactive for a period of three, six, nine, or 12 months. The system will first alert the user, then up to 10 designated loved ones, when the account is about to expire. Users can opt to have their accounts deleted or to transfer the data after the other steps have been completed.
Google Inactive Account Manager
Microsoft: If Hotmail accounts are left inactive for a period of time, the email account along with all the information will be eventually deleted (within the year) and therefore, you will not be able to access it. If you die, your next of kin will be granted access to your account provided they supply supporting documents such as a death certificate. Hit the link below for step by step instructions
Microsoft Next of Kin Process
Yahoo: Yahoo has a much stricter policy over who can get access to your account. And that is no one. If you want to ensure no one has access to your emails when you die, you would want to choose Yahoo. Yahoo will not grant permission to anyone to access a deceased user’s account. The only permission Yahoo grants is for the account to be deleted. Therefore, Yahoo does not allow anyone to access your emails. The only way someone can do this is if they reset your account password.
Twitter: In the event of the death of a Twitter user, they can work with a person authorized to act on the behalf of the estate or with a verified immediate family member of the deceased to have an account deactivated.