Protecting your Digital Assets

In the preface to Fever Pitch its author Nick Hornby apologises to his loved ones for the countless times he has equated life to the actions Arsenal Football Club – the team he has supported all his life. There are similarities between life and sport but games are just that, games. Life is a little more important. – Although I have been guilty of raising sport to a near ridiculous importance.

I was reminded of that this week when I saw a woman in tears because the Spanish tennis player Rafael Nadal lost in the first round of the Australian Open. I know that it can be upsetting when a team you support loses an important game but there is always next week/season/year.

The main thing that is common to both sport and life is that they both end. A good athlete has a game plan that they try to execute and we should plan our lives in a similar way. Often plan A doesn’t work so we adopt a different strategy – Plan B if you will.

I was reminded again of the failure to adequately plan for you and your family’s future by a story about a Canadian families effort to obtain their dead Husband and Fathers account details from Apple. David & Peggy owned an iPad and an Apple computer. When David died, Peggy knew the iPad’s login code, but didn’t know the Apple ID password.

Governments can be quite slow in providing the regulations regarding new technologies. In most cases although you own a photograph posted online it is the service provider who owns the access and sets the rules as to who may access their service and how it may be done.

I have discussed the need for people to take out life and income protection insurances, superannuation and importantly make a Will and keep it up to date.

Until governments provide clear guidelines that executors are able to log into accounts in order to access the digital assets of a Will maker it might be wise to include a clause in your Will giving that power to your executor – and then writing down your passwords and storing them separately in a safe place.

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