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Web site claims to store your online data after death

Deathswitch.com
Posted at 7:47 PM, May 12, 2013
and last updated 2014-06-09 10:02:31-04

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL)--You may have heard the phrase, "when you die your inbox will be full."

Where will your online account information go after death?

Some web sites promise to store and release that information to your loved ones after you die.

There are four screens that usually dominate most of our lives, televisions, computers, and tablets, and of course cell phones.

What happens to that information you've stored when you've powered down?

One web site says it has the answer. When you don't log in on a regular basis, it assumes you have permanently logged out.

"I don't like talking about death," said Keisha Mays, a Tallahassee resident. "I don't even want to think about it. I think it's crazy that again you would assume someone is dead just because you don't log onto the system."

Maybe you have important passwords you've memorized to your bank or credit card accounts. A web site called Deathswitch.com claims to store that information for you for life.

Here's how it works. You create an account and enter that sensitive information, secrets, or even your final wishes to family and friends. You log in periodically. When you stop logging in, the web site assumes you have died.

Then that information you stored is sent to your loved ones. Even though death is something many of us don't want to think about, some people do like to plan for their final day. Some say they'd sign up for Deathswitch.com.

"I would as long as it is certified and is a good organization that is not sketchy," said Shelby Foy, a Tallahassee resident.

Deathswitch.com says the site is completely safe and secure. The creators of it said in a statement, "We leverage all possible security measures and encryption technologies to insure the safety of your messages against hackers."

"I'm always suspicious of things like that because you know the federal government gets hacked," said Dr. Jeff Liang, a family therapist. "You got banks getting hacked. I'd be a little concerned."

Not everyone thinks they would need a service to pass along information when they go.

"Why would I want to give anyone my information like that," said Mays. "I don't even want to think about it."

"People may think this might jinx me or I may go right away," said Liang.

There is still one small problem. What if you forget to log into the site? It is possible some of your sensitive information like maybe that secret you didn't want to reveal could get out while you are still alive and that in itself, might put you one step closer to the grave.

Google has also introduced a feature similar to Deathswitch.com. What about death policies for social media sites like Facebook? The site asks family or friends to send them a link of a loved one's obituary before the person's timeline is memorialized.