To die physically but continue to live digitally. In addition to the life we lead every day, there is the one we share on social networks. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter… For 15 years, our digital heritage has grown in importance, between the photos we post, the jokes we share, the comments we leave.
Have you ever thought about what will become of your Facebook profile after your death? Predicting his “digital death” is not usual, but it is nevertheless essential. Your loved ones may not want to see your photo every day or have a reminder on each of your birthdays. Olivier, 31, always gets a thrill when the social network reminds him of the birthday of his sister, who died three years ago. Her family has no way to delete her profile and she is still in group chats, which is still very painful.
How can we avoid this pain for our loved ones? Benoît Grunemwald, Cybersecurity expert at ESET France, explains: “If we don’t plan what will happen to our digital footprint, it will be up to our loved ones to go through this painful process”. Steps that are added to the usual administrative formalities, already numerous for those who stay. What can we do right now to avoid these inconveniences for our loved ones? One thing is certain, you have to be prepared. “If you have a Facebook account, you have certainly shared a lot of photos, thoughts and moments that are dear to you”, recalls the expert, and your death does not automatically erase them.
Mark Zuckerberg’s social network offers two solutions to its users: you can choose to delete your profile after your death or it can be transformed into a page honoring your memory. What is the best choice for you and your loved ones? How to proceed ? How to choose a trustworthy person? Planet explains everything to you.
The first option for leaving Facebook when you die is deleting your account. Benoît Grunemwald explains that this is a request “that you make to Facebook and that no one can modify”. Once your decision has been made, your relatives will therefore not be able to contest it, provided that they fulfill a few formalities. “However, this requires someone to send a photo of your death certificate to Meta to inform them of your death,” says the cybersecurity expert. You must therefore inform your relatives of your choice, so that one of them thinks of sending the document. You can even appoint a trusted person, who is not necessarily a member of your family.
The second option available to you does not delete your profile and you remain present on the social network after your death. Benoît Grunemwald explains: “You can also choose a contact who will take care of the account honoring your memory. It must be a person you trust and who is ready to manage your profile, your tribute messages… Keep this in mind in order to choose the right person.” This choice can have serious consequences for you, as well as for the loved one you have designated. How to make the right choice for your profile?
If it is difficult to make a choice right now, tell yourself that it is better that your loved ones are notified as soon as possible and that they have the least worries about this issue. Benoît Gurnemwald invites dialogue: “Whether you decide that your profile is deleted or that someone takes care of it, discuss it with the person who, in your opinion, could do it”. “Consider the grief she will experience and ask her if she thinks she can do it”, because, he reminds, “this contact must be able to access your death certificate and have an account Facebook”.
Once the question of your Facebook profile is settled, do not forget to make a choice for the other social networks, like Instagram and Twitter. The steps are different, so find out now to find out what your room for maneuver is. Finally, says the expert, do not forget your Apple, Google, PayPal, Microsoft accounts… All the media that may be in possession of documents or information about you.