Taking Passwords to the Grave

Reader JP, sends us this little tidbit about accessing online information after someone has passed away. From CNET: As more and more people move their lives, address books, calendars, financial information, online, they are taking a risk that some information formerly filed away in folders and desks might never be recovered. That is, unless they share their passwords, which poses security threats.

Last year, Yahoo was forced to provide access to the e-mail of a U.S. Marine killed in Iraq to his father, who got a court order in the matter. Google will provide access to a deceased Gmail user’s account if the person seeking it provides a copy of the death certificate and a copy of a document giving the person power of attorney over the e-mail account, said a Google spokeswoman.

America Online follows the same policy, according to spokesman Andrew Weinstein.

“In terms of tips for estate planning, it’s much easier if a family member already has the password.”

Got that kiddies? Give your passwords to someone you trust, just in case you die. Or, conversely, be sure not to save any email you wouldn’t want your mom to read after you’re dead.