What should happen to data and social media accounts when people die?

Connor IbbetsonData Journalist
November 01, 2019, 11:41 AM GMT+0

Seven percent of Brits want their social media profiles to remain online forever, while a third of young people will take their smartphone passwords to the grave

Most people make arrangements as to what should happen to their home and money when they die, but what about less tangible assets like social media accounts and data?

While one in fourteen (7%) Brits want their social media profiles to live on online forever, public opinion is largely split between those who want their information deleted entirely (25%) and those who want it to be downloaded, taken offline and given to family and friends (26%).

Click to enlarge

Brits aged 65 and over are the least likely to be sentimental about their social media, with a third (34%) wanting their profiles to be completely deleted, compared to just 17% of Brits aged from 18 to 25 – who are more likely to be protective of their physical devices instead.

Overall, half of Britons (53%) said they would give family members the passwords to their smartphones before they die and over two in ten (23%) said they would keep the passwords to themselves.

Click to enlarge

Britons are slightly less keen to hand over passwords to their hard drives and other data storage (44%), but over half (58%) said they would give up their PC and laptop passwords to their family before they die.

Among Britons aged 18 to 25, however, a third (36%) would take the secret of their smart phone password to the grave, with 40% saying they would pass it on.

Brits aged over 65, despite been keener to have their social media accounts wiped after death, were more likely to pass on their physical devices, with only 16% saying they wouldn’t share the passwords.

Image: Getty

See full results here