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What happens to my digital reputation when I die?

Updated: Apr 11, 2022

Online Reputation:  The way we perceive the prestige of a person, brand or company, through their digital footprint.

These reputations are created not only by the person or brand in question online, but by random “netizens” who exchange content, information, opinions and comments about them through social networks, blogs and forums.

The sum of this online data forms a neutral, negative or positive digital reputation that can directly influence the future of any professional or personal project.

An entire business model or social enterprise can be affected, and no-one, or nothing it seems, is now completely safe from anonymous comments which can affect public perception. Even after death.

For centuries, death has been seen as the end to our presence here on earth. Now in a digital world, the afterlife can take on a whole new meaning.

Death in the cloud is complicated.

Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and Instagram have taken the place of family albums. Bank transactions and investments can be managed through apps and we're even leaving our cash in the cloud. 

In fact, much of what we do nowadays can exist solely in “the cloud”. Practically everything we used to do offline, in our own physical communities, we can now do online.

Digital Immortality.

Think about what you've currently got shared online and figure out what you, or some corporation, is doing with these digital assets.

How do you want to be remembered online, if at all?

What impact do you want to leave for future generations? What do you want everyone to know about you when you’re gone.. and, what don’t you want them to know?

Some say we die twice; once when we stop breathing and, a second time, later on, when somebody says our name for the last time. With this new presence online however, there'll be digital echoes of our time here on earth, potentially, forever.

A Right to be Forgotten?

The Right to be forgotten refers to Habeas Data and the protection of personal data. It's defined as the right a holder of personal data has to block or delete personally identifiable information that's considered irrelevant, or obsolete over time, and that in ways affects the free development of their fundamental rights.

We can now live our entire lives in the Digital space. Your current online reputation and activity can haunt you even after death.

To help your digital self "pass over" peacefully, we recommend you have your Executor take care of your online interests, as well as your physical assets.

Assigning a knowledgeable solicitor in your will, or opting for the services of specialists like YESpbm, can help manage your very personal brand, and digital legacy before it’s too late.

Most importantly, while you’re still in the land of the living, give a thought to what you may want your wife, business partner, staff, or children, to discover about you online, or on your laptop, should you get hit by a bus on your way home.

They may have to live with your online legacy long after you do.

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