Broker Check

Digital Assets, Part II

| June 27, 2018

As we saw in our last post, Digital Assets can include information stored on an individual’s digital devices (documents, photos, movies, music, etc.), content uploaded to websites (photos, videos, social media posts, blog posts, etc.), and rights in digital property (music, movies, e-books, etc.). This encompasses quite a bit of data that is important to us and our families.

So the question now is: What can we do to help protect these assets?

A complete modern-day estate plan would be remiss if it fails to consider the management and disposition of digital assets upon disability or death.  As mentioned in Part I as a first step, take an inventory of your digital assets.  This will include websites, cloud storage, as well as hard drive storage.  You may be surprised as how much of our lives is intertwined with technology. 

Next, take a step back and consider how important the information stored this way is to you and your family.  What are your goals with regard to these assets?  Do you want to be sure only certain things (like photos) are passed down, or do you need a contingency plan for all of itl?  Do you potentially want to grant access to a trusted person in the case of emergency or your incapacity?  

Third, consider how technology can assist.  A Password Manager is a site/software that allows access to a vault of log-in information all by way of one master password.  While it’s important for a password manager to offer a ton of advanced features (first of all security), it also ideally needs to do so while still being easy to use and not overly complex.  Here are a few highly rated programs – all with multifactor authentication and the highest level of encryption available – and their key features that may be worth considering:

  • Dashlane – Well designed and executed, Dashlane makes password management truly easy. Featuring a standalone all-platform browser, you can use the service on just about any platform. 
  • LastPass – Featuring enhanced multifactor authentication choices and 1 GB of secure online file storage, the LastPass free edition is a solid choice.  For $48 a year you can get LastPass Family, which features six licenses so your whole family can keep their passwords safe.
  • Sticky Password – For those super-paranoid of storing any information in the cloud, Sticky Password offers an unusual and more secure option while still allowing you to sync your passwords between devices:  Wi-Fi sync.  In this mode, your devices sync directly with each other when they’re connected to the same Wi-Fi network, and your data never goes to the cloud.

Dashlane and LastPass also offer emergency access to a trusted person, which is a great feature as we are discussing how to protect these assets.

Information regarding Dashlane, LastPass and Sticky Password is provided for informational purposes, and does not indicate any affiliation and should not be considered an endorsement of their products/services.