It’s mostly because we now live in a very different world to the one we lived in 20 or even 10 years ago. In this almost completely digital era, we live our entire lives online. The majority of us have multiple social media accounts, and use them to make multiple posts, upload multiple photographs; recording our daily lives for our friends to see and participate in. But what happens to those images and accounts after our death, and what choices do our families have over what can happen to them? Removing someone’s digital footprint after they’ve passed away is a choice an increasing number of families are making.
Firstly, for some families after the passing of a loved one, it becomes an important part of the grieving process to take back control of all of those accounts so that they can have the final say over what remains online for posterity.
For some, it’s as simple as closing down a Facebook and Twitter account. For others, it’s a more complex process where we first need to identify what social media accounts were held, before beginning the sometimes lengthy process of take-down notices and closure requests.
For some families, removing all traces of a deceased loved one is done to take back control over how their image is presented online. There may be no real negatives per se, just a life well-lived in the public eye – as is very much the trend nowadays. However, increasingly we’re finding that families are wanting to retain control over how their loved one is remembered, perhaps by creating their own website dedicated to their memory or more often choosing which pictures/images remain and posting them from their own social media accounts in an ‘in memorium’ fashion. It can also be a case that constantly seeing these old posts and accounts all over the internet is an upsetting reminder that their loved one will no longer be recording their daily activities, and so they’d like that upset removed from view.
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On occasion, the reason for requiring a cyber funeral has been more complex. After the passing of a family member, others have noticed that their loved one had a negative online profile which is now negatively affecting other members of the family by association. Consequently, family members make the practical decision to perform a cyber funeral to remove the negative footprint and diminish the impact it has on those left behind.
A negative footprint removal can be more difficult to achieve, as typically we’ll also need to handle legal takedown requests to Google to de-index damaging material over and above simple account closure and deletion of posts, images etc.
As Google accounts for 92% of the UK Search Engine market share, this is often the search engine focused on by families. However, we can also offer to extend the service to cover other major search engine providers too – it simply depends on what level of financial investment your family is prepared to make in order to clean up the negatives.
Whatever your family’s reasons for wishing to hold a online funeral, we are here to help. We’re experienced in all aspects of Cyber Funeral Management, whether it’s as simple as closing down one online account or as complex as some of the scenarios listed above.
We offer all our Cyber Funeral clients an NDA (non disclosure agreement) as standard, so you can be assured of our absolute discretion in all matters relating to your deceased family member.
Because there’s quite a lot of practical matters to take into account in connection with a Cyber Funeral, we advise a phone call to discuss your family’s needs with us as the first point of contact. You’ll find we’re sympathetic, empathetic, professional and above all experienced in what we do.
We’re going to need:
- Copies of a death certificate
- Proof of ID
- Signed written permission by the next of kin
- What accounts and passwords, if any, you know about or have been left access to
But don’t worry too much about the what and how, it’s our job to help and and advise you and that’s one of the things we’ll talk you through when we speak.
So please do contact us for a talk with a senior staff member about exactly what we do and, more importantly, exactly what you need in terms of your individual case. Our prices are very competitive and we will give you a bespoke quote once we fully understand your individual circumstances and the amount of digital footprint erasure we’ll have to undertake.