In our increasingly digital world, our lives are intricately woven into online spaces, where digital assets like social media accounts, email accounts, and online subscriptions are becoming integral parts of our estates. As the concept of the Metaverse takes shape, this trend will only continue to grow, underscoring the importance of protecting our digital presence and assets from a growing number of threats.

Cybersecurity is no longer solely a concern for companies; it now applies to everyday individuals as well. How can you shield your digital assets from hackers and other threats? In this article, we explore the world of digital assets, identify potential risks, and delve into practical strategies to fortify your cybersecurity defenses. Together, let's ensure the safety and integrity of your digital legacy.

Digital Assets

What Are Digital Assets?

Digital assets encompass a wide range of digital accounts and files with varying degrees of sentimental or monetary value. They exist in a digital format, accessible, searchable, and potentially distributable. Common examples include:

  • Social media accounts
  • Subscription services
  • Email accounts
  • Online banking accounts
  • Credit card accounts
  • Utility accounts
  • Contact lists
  • Shopping accounts
  • Photo and video sharing and storage accounts
  • Smartphone, computer, tablet or cloud data
  • Existing digital collections
  • Websites or blogs you maintain
  • Online marketplace stores
  • Domain names
  • Cryptocurrency keys
  • Text, graphic and audio files (or other intellectual property)

Keeping an up-to-date list of your digital assets is essential for effective estate planning and cybersecurity protection.

Why do Digital Assets Matter?

Digital assets matter for several significant reasons:

Preserving Family Memories:

Digital assets hold precious family memories, such as photos and videos, providing a glimpse into cherished moments. Ensuring their proper management after your passing allows these memories to be cherished and shared by future generations.

Protecting Intellectual Property:

Digital assets may include valuable intellectual property, such as written works, graphic designs, or creative portfolios. Securing these assets in your estate plan safeguards your creative legacy and potential financial interests.

Relief for Family Members:

Designating someone to manage your social media accounts and digital files after your passing offers relief to your family members. They can access and preserve files that hold sentimental value and responsibly shut down or manage your digital accounts.

Maintaining Control Over Digital Presence:

By including digital assets in your estate plan, you can retain control over your online presence even after death. You can specify how you want your social media accounts to be handled, either by deleting them or marking them as a memorial page.

Recognizing the value of your digital assets and incorporating them into your estate plan is a thoughtful way to protect your digital legacy, honor your creative contributions, and provide your loved ones with a sense of comfort and direction in managing your online presence.

Threats to Your Digital Assets

Your digital assets are not only valuable to you, but they can also be targets for privacy breaches and cyber threats. For older adults, who may be more vulnerable to phishing attacks, ransomware, or malware, it is crucial to ensure their online safety while preserving their assets.

Phishing Attacks

These deceptive communications often appear as emails from reputable sources, such as banks, asking for sensitive information under false pretenses. Protect yourself from phishing attempts by verifying the sender's legitimacy before sharing personal details.

Malware Attacks

Malware encompasses various harmful software that can infiltrate your devices and networks, compromising data security and leading to data loss or theft. Avoid downloading content from untrusted sources, and be cautious with email attachments to minimize the risk of malware infections.

Identity Theft

Cyber threats often aim to steal personal information like passwords, social security numbers, and financial details to gain unauthorized access to social media, emails, and bank accounts. Implement strong passwords and regularly monitor your accounts for any suspicious activity.

How to Prevent Cybersecurity Risks

Protect yourself from cybersecurity risks by practicing mindful device usage and being cautious about sharing personal information. For older adults with dementia, family members should educate them on identifying scams. The Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) offers an awareness program for older Americans, providing information on various threats, resources for scam victims, and materials to enhance online safety. Empower yourself and your loved ones with the essential knowledge to stay safe in the digital world.

Let Carolina Family Estate Planning Protect Your Assets

For many of us, our digital footprint is just one part of our legacy—a very sentimental part of our lives. The best way to protect your digital assets and stop any loss of sentimental value is to create an estate plan that takes your digital footprint into account. 

If you need help with creating an estate plan that encompasses all of your assets, digital or physical, you can call us at (919) 899-2606 or schedule a 15-minute consultation today.



Join The Conversation
Post A Comment