Why you should NEVER put your End of Life Plan online.
There are several companies that are now selling a service where you can create an End of Life Plan online and store it on their servers. These companies charge an annual subscription and this gives you access to a variety of forms where you can download all of your personal details that you would want your relatives or executor to have after you have passed away.
To make a meaningful End of Life Plan you are going to have to provide your social security number, all of your bank details, a full listing of all of your assets, your driver’s license and much more private and personal information.
Everything can be hacked.
Every day we hear of another major hacking scandal where identity thieves have gained access to online information at some major corporations or even the government. One of the most worrying of these was the Equifax breach where millions of credit reports were exposed to be made available to anyone on the dark web.
Many government departments have also been the subject of cyber attacks where sensitive personal data has been stolen. If Equifax and the government can’t keep your private data safe with all the resources at their disposal it is not difficult to imagine a clever hacker stealing your private information from a small company that stores your life details.
Do you trust a total stranger.
We all know that nothing that is posted online is ever truly secure. If you use one of these services you are essentially trusting your entire life information to total strangers.
It is the equivalent of a man walking up to you in the street and saying “If you give me some money I will look after your wallet and keep it safe for you. You can have access to it at any time and I promise that I will never look at the contents or use the information that you give me. Oh, and by the way, if you stop paying me I will keep all the information for ever.”
Trust is everything.
Some online storage companies claim that their security is so tight that even their employees do not have access to your information. We find that difficult to believe. Even in the best run organizations there will be people who are less than trustworthy. How do you know the motivations of each and every employee to whom you are trusting your personal information?
There are better ways.
You can still get all the benefits of making an End of Life plan without any of the online risks. Storing the information on your own computer is probably just as insecure as using an online service and has the inherent risk of a virus that divulges your computer’s contents to a data thief.
The best and most secure way that we have found is a memory stick that is preloaded with all the forms that you need to make an End of Life plan. The password protected data can only be accessed when the device is physically plugged into your computer. The forms can be printed but they can’t be copied and are never available on the web.