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Indiana AG urges proactive steps to secure social media, phone upon death

Securing social media accounts and cell phone data after the death of a loved one can be simplified with some planning, according to Indiana Republican Attorney General Todd Rokita.

Rokita is advising citizens throughout the state to set up a legacy contact to ensure accounts are secure and accessible to appointed people after death. Apple, Google and Facebook currently have this option.

When the account holder passes, they can choose to have their account permanently deleted or have an appointed person manage their memorialized account. Rokita said most people know the importance of creating a will to assign possessions or property to friends and loved ones. However, modern technology allows for the creation of intellectual property and people should be aware of the transfer process.

“Death is never something we want to think about,” Rokita said in a statement. “However, it’s best to be prepared and gain the reassurance knowing your online presence will be taken care of by someone you love and trust.”

The legacy contact feature allows the account holder to invite someone they trust to take over their social media accounts and cell phone data after their death. This can be helpful in posting dates of funeral services or notifying people on contact lists.

For Apple, the device should utilize an Apple ID with the two-factor authentication enabled. After an access code is generated, the legacy contact must present the code and death certificate to access the account holder’s data.

Google uses an “Inactive Account Manager.” Account holders can choose the data they want to share with the legacy contact and how long the data will be accessible.

Facebook allows the account holder to add or remove a legacy contact in its memorialization setting. After the account holder’s page is memorialized, the legacy contact will be able to manage the page and content.

This article originally appeared on The Center Square.

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