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It’s National Data Privacy Day. Take a moment to think about your private data after you “get on the bus”

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The kerfuffle about Facebook using and sharing our data is one reason why we have a national – and international – Data Privacy Day. Last year on Data Privacy Day, LinkedIn live-streamed a ‘bootcamp’, and leading social media gurus and Silicon Valley players discussed how they support data privacy – even though it seems they continue to find new and exciting ways to sell our information. Privacy safeguards seem to arise after digital and social innovations, so it may surprise you that a 1981 international treaty about privacy and protection is the origin of Data Privacy Day.

As our social lives have grown increasingly digital, our private lives have become a whole lot more public. People overshare. Even if you don’t, you can be tagged on a platform or shared in a photo by someone else. If you like to keep tight control on your personal data now, you will want to plan for your “digital afterlife.”

After you “get on the bus,” who will take over your Facebook and Twitter accounts? Do you want them kept active so that your loved ones can continue sharing remembrances, posting on your timeline, and tagging you when they think of you? Or would you want your social media accounts shut down right away? Who will access your text messages and e-mails?

Digital asset planning includes giving legal access to your digital financial assets (everything from online accounts to transferable reward programs). It also includes planning for the transfer of your photos, creative works, and anything else that you digitally possess. Digital assets are a new version of family heirlooms. Think about your digital afterlife. Your privacy can be maintained if you plan for it in writing.

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