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What happens to your email when you die?

submitted on November 9, 2009 by a_zhure in "Member's Lounge"
IN a digital world your deepest secrets no longer die with you.
REMEMBER that time you poured your heart out in an email to your best friend after one too many glasses of wine?

Or that sexy message from an old lover that made you blush at work?

Well, if you die, your family and others could end up reading them.

Web email services owned by internet giants Google and Microsoft have a policy of keeping your data after you die and letting your next of kin or the executor of your estate access it.

Accounts with Google's Gmail can hold up to 7GB – or roughly 70,000 emails with a small to medium picture attached to each.

And they archive the messages you've written as well as received.

When it comes to deleting the data, Microsoft's Hotmail will remove an account if it is inactive for 270 days, while Gmail leaves the responsibility to the next of kin.

Of the top three providers, only Yahoo! refuses to supply emails to anyone after a user has died. The user's next of kin can ask for the account to be closed, but cannot gain access to it.

A Yahoo! spokesperson said the only exception to this rule would be if the user specified otherwise in their will.
The subject has also proved problematic for social networking sites Facebook and MySpace.
Facebook has recently publicised a feature called memorialisation that lets the family of deceased users keep their profile page online as a virtual tribute.


Favorite (1)
  • 42754
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    Posted by midget on November 10, 2009
    [reply] 1 0
    That was interesting reading. I never thought of what happens to my email after I'm dead.

    Good thing I use yahoo. Big Grin
    • JackBauer
      Posted by JackBauer on November 11, 2009
      [reply] 1 0
      Are you keep "little" secrets from your next of kin?
    • 42813
    • mooncow728
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      Posted by mooncow728 on November 11, 2009 [reply] 0 0
      Exactly what I was thinking midget. I was thinking more along the lines of my hubby's e-mail though. He gave tons of girls his e-mail and even has a few that still bug him after 7 years so I would hate to read all that if something were to happen to him. I know he's not guilty of anything but the human mind has ways of blowing things out of proportion after tragedy.
  • 42881
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    Posted by equipurple on November 12, 2009 [reply] 0 0
    Your attorney should be able to grant digital access to your next of kin. I guess it's he latest thing in estate planning.
  • 42923
    Posted by vonness53 on November 12, 2009 [reply] 0 0
    Really, its of very little importance if you keep the REAL STUFF REAL in a fireproof box and leave the virtual stuff in the virtual world.

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