This Pickles cartoon illustrates one issue about Facebook profiles that live on after that person has died — and it’s not the least of your worries.
Earl and Opal are sitting on the couch as Earl reads the newspaper and Opal peruses Facebook on her laptop computer. She says, “I just noticed that my cousin Ethel is still one of my Facebook friends. I wonder if I should remove her name.” Earl asks, “Why, are you mad at her?”
Opal says, “Oh, no. But she died two years ago and it’s kind of annoying that she still has more Facebook friends than I do.”
While she finds it annoying that a dead woman has more Facebook friends than her, it’s more concerning that Ethel’s identity is still floating around on social media. Not only is it a cruel reminder of her cousin’s death, it’s also an invitation for ID theft.
Removing an account from Facebook can be an exercise in frustration. You need to know the email associated with the account and the password to get into the settings for a profile. This 2009 post from a Facebook employee talks about the loss of a friend and steps Facebook took to turn profiles into memorial pages.
A memorial page allows information to remain on Facebook as a virtual space to pay condolences and share memories in the honor of a deceased individual. But times have changed over the past five years.
Now, identity theft is rampant, and it’s estimated 25% of stolen identities are taken from dead people. The social media accounts of the deceased offer a doorway to get hacked. Shutting down those accounts is the safest way to protect their sensitive information.
I recently wrote about eClosure.co, a service that helps families shut down the emails and social media accounts of the deceased to avoid identity theft and prevent painful reminders of the loss through unexpected appearances on social media.
Even if the family does not have passwords, with a death certificate and a form of ID, for $150 eClosure can take care of closing Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Google+, Yahoo Mail, Microsoft Mail and other accounts. While each provider has their own set of requirements to close accounts, eClosure knows how to navigate each company’s settings to promptly secure the dead person’s digital assets.
Don’t let a loved one’s identity become stolen. Find out more by visiting eClosure.co.