Sunday, August 25, 2013

Digital Safety & Digital Estates

This year has a been one where many individuals discovered through various news reports just how much of one's online life is no longer as private as they may have once thought.

Most try their best, through settings on specific sites to be private while maintaining some sort of online presence either for their work, family and friends and take precautions of what they put online as well as say online. Knowing that photos as well as anything else shared online may end up where one does not want it can be one way to get the message out and be very careful with your online presence.

Genealogists, like many others, collaborate with other researchers to help solve difficult problems as well as assist and share with one another. In addition, clients, as well as the researcher, need to be able to access their research projects regardless of their physical location. To prevent data loss, precautions have to be taken to have back-ups of one's hard work along with whatever else is worth keeping in a digital format for future use and generations.

Keeping the above in mind, various companies offer storage on their servers for a fee, some offer free services and still others can handle larger organizations. They all have one thing in common and that is the ability to access your information from multiple media types as shown in the image above. These companies also provide reassurance that nothing is loss over time and your data automatically synchronized through the software setups on your main computer.

While these kinds of backups provide for secure and digital safety, what happens to all that data when an individual passes away? Recently this subject came up at the annual conference of the Canadian Bar Association in Saskatoon and these lawyers raised questions about digital data rights after an owner's death and how this is definitely a growing problem that seriously needs addressing, the article is here.

Most written laws don't take into account digital assets. The article not only discusses loved ones digital assets after their death but also digital items like downloaded music and books onto a digital device which really only belongs to the individual who paid for it. Then there are social media sites and many other online activities that could have been part of a loved ones virtual life.

This definitely brings into mind one's online genealogical activities which could include blogs, photos, documents, really anything at all including emails that exchanged genealogical information and perhaps early message boards which were another way to help one another in genealogical research, just for starters.

It's not only time to check 'terms of use' with the locations of one's data but also to make sure one's digital assets are handled correctly legally when we are no longer here by our descendants. More than ever before it is important to share your research, photos and all connected with your genealogy and family history with your living family members. It is definitely a time to bring the subject up for open discussion and perhaps lead to some solutions.

One company that is helping with this Gen-Ark, they are a leader in digital estate scanning and preservation solutions, check them out!

Comments and Suggestions are always welcomed!

Building Bridges for All Generations!

Claire (*)
Timeless Genealogies
We're Your Family is "No. 1"



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