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What happens to your social media accounts when you die? Kim Komando has the answers. (Reuters)

None of us are getting out of this alive. With the advent of consumer tech and the internet, you can now make your wishes known in a myriad of ways. For starters, if you’re wondering where’s the best place to make sure your loved ones follow your will directives and have access to your passwords, you can do this online.

Specialty sites can store all your important documents from wills, trusts and passwords to your funeral preferences. While most sites are subscription-based, there is a free option that is HIPPA-compliant with secured bank-level encryption. Tap or click here for pay and free sites to help you organize your end-of-life planning.

Speaking of death, virtual reality recently let a grief-stricken mother talk and play with her deceased daughter in a park they used to go to together. The story is fascinating on so many levels that you have to see. Tap or click here for the heartbreaking story and videos that will show you what happened.

You can control what happens to your social media accounts when the inevitable happens. Here’s how to do it.

Facebook’s Legacy feature

Before you dive in, do a solid check of your Facebook privacy settings. Tap or click here my list of privacy essentials for any Facebook account.

On Facebook, you can designate a legacy contact to manage your account after you’re gone. They can do things like writing a pinned post for your profile as a farewell message or letting your friends know the details of a memorial service.

Your designated person can also respond to friend requests, update your profile and cover photos, decide who can see your feed and who can post tributes, among other things.

There are limits to protect your privacy. He or she won’t be able to read your messages, log into your account or delete friends.

Here’s how to set up your Legacy Contact:

  • Go to your general account Settings and choose Memorialization Settings.
  • Click Edit and you can choose a legacy contact.
  • Use the “Choose a friend” box to add your legacy contact.

That person will receive an email explaining how the process works. Just be sure you give your chosen friend or family member a heads up first and make sure they’re willing to handle the responsibility.

Once you have your legacy contact set, look through the Memorialization Settings. On this page, you can decide whether your legacy contact can download a copy of what you’ve shared on your feed, including posts, photos, videos, and profile information.

TECH ADVICE YOU CAN TRUST: Get breaking tech news as it happens with free email alerts from my desk to your inbox. Tap or click here to sign up.

Once a year, you will receive a reminder about your legacy contact. If you’re certain your person won’t change, or that you’ll remember to change them if need be, you can click “stop annual reminders” in the Annual Reminder section.

If you’d rather have your account deleted after you pass away, go to the Memorialization Settings page and scroll down. Right above the Close button, there is an option you can click that says, “Request that your account be deleted after you pass away.”

You’ll still need to enlist the help of a trusted loved one. After he or she lets Facebook know you’ve died, your account will be completely deleted.

SPEED UP YOUR SMARTPHONE: If your phone is sluggish, apps are closing and your memory is full, a cleaner app could be the answer. There are tons of shady downloads out there, though. Tap or click for 5 apps you can trust.

What about Instagram?

Instagram, owned by Facebook, has similar features and procedures when it comes to memorializing accounts. Like Facebook, your family can request the deletion of your account or have it memorialized.

Instagram doesn’t allow you to choose a legacy contact. You’ll have to leave detailed instructions to your loved ones to have your account deleted or memorialized.

To do so, he or she needs to submit proof of your passing and proof of authority under local law that the person who is attempting to delete your account is a lawful representative of you or your estate.

If you need to delete an Instagram account for someone who is deceased, tap or click here to fill out the report. If you choose to memorialize an account, it can’t be changed or altered in any way. This includes any previous likes, followers, tags, posts and comments.

Twitter is a bit more limited

Twitter recently announced it would be deleting inactive accounts. However, the backlash was so great, the company was forced to redact their statement and find a happy medium for its users. Tap or click here for the full backstory.

In the end, Twitter decided not to delete inactive accounts until there’s an appropriate method of memorializing those belonging to people who have died.

Twitter has not yet created memorialized or legacy accounts, but they will remove a deceased user’s account if requested by a verified immediate family member who can provide the appropriate details. Tap or click here to learn more about Twitter’s deletion policies.

BONUS TIP FOR EXTRA KNOW-HOW: PC vs. Mac: 10 of the biggest differences explained

Mac versus Windows: The debate that’s raged since the 1980s. Whole commercial campaigns were put together around this very concept, claiming one was better than the other.

But what are the true, bias-free differences between Mac computers and Windows ones? What sets each one apart? Let’s start with their price tags.

Tap or click here to see Apple and Microsoft battle it out.

What digital lifestyle questions do you have? Call Kim’s national radio show and tap or click here to find it on your local radio station. You can listen to or watch the Kim Komando Show on your phone, tablet, television or computer. Or tap or click here for Kim’s free podcasts.

Copyright 2020, WestStar Multimedia Entertainment. All rights reserved.

Learn about all the latest technology on The Kim Komando Show, the nation’s largest weekend radio talk show. Kim takes calls and dispenses advice on today’s digital lifestyle, from smartphones and tablets to online privacy and data hacks. For her daily tips, free newsletters and more, visit her website at Komando.com.

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