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If you have a website or a blog for your business then you have a very valuable asset that you need to make plans to protect in case something should happen to you. Even if you don’t yet have a website, you likely have an email account in addition to PayPal, eBay, Facebook, Twitter and other online banking and brokerage accounts that no one but you knows how to access. In the event that something happens to you, would your family or your employees be able to access your business website, email, or other online accounts? If not, it could mean the immediate end of your business, or at a minimum, lots of time and trouble to try and re-gain access to these things.
As an example, I belong to a local parents of multiples group and I somehow became nominated to handle the group’s website, only to find out that the domain name was registered in a previous member’s name who has long since moved away. Because we cannot locate her and the email address it was registered under is no longer valid, we now have no control over the domain name and no authority to transfer it or make any changes. The registrar will ONLY accept our payment each year to renew the name. We’ve been trying to get the name back for over a year now and we’re still working on the problem.
Another personal example is a local family of a U.S. Marine who was killed in action. The family wanted to save his emails so they could remember him in his own words, but they were denied access to his Yahoo! account for privacy reasons and the account was later deleted and lost forever.
Make it easier for your loved ones and your employees to carry on by creating a way to store your usernames, passwords, and account information to pass on after your death or incapacitation. There are several services that will take care of this for you such as AssetLock.net where fees range from $9.95/year or $59.95/lifetime for a basic account to $79.95/year or $239.95/lifetime for an Ultra (unlimited) account, and LegacyLocker.com where you can get an account for $29.99/year or $299.99/lifetime.
Alternatively, you can write up your own list of usernames and passwords along with all of your account information and leave it in a safe deposit box or other safe place – just be sure to let your beneficiaries know where they’ll be able to find the information.