Losing a loved one is a challenging and emotional period. Amidst managing the grief and practical arrangements, the digital legacy of the deceased also requires consideration. One common step many consider is deleting the Facebook account of the departed. While this impulse is understandable, there are compelling reasons not to rush this decision. In this piece, we’ll explore why it’s advisable not to promptly terminate a Facebook account after someone’s passing.

Preserving Digital Memories

A Facebook account often serves as a precious repository of digital memories. Photos, messages, and interactions with friends and family create an online archive reflecting the personality and life of the departed. Retaining this account can help preserve these invaluable memories for future generations. It can offer solace to occasionally browse through old posts and photos, reflecting on the beautiful moments shared.

Login Credentials and Online Accounts

A lesser-known fact is that many people use their Facebook accounts to log in to various other websites and services using the “Login with Facebook” feature commonly found on many websites. Abruptly terminating the deceased’s Facebook account poses the risk of losing access to other online accounts linked to it. This may lead to issues accessing emails, online stores, and other crucial digital resources used by the departed.

To ascertain the connected apps and websites, you can follow these steps:

  • On the Facebook mobile app, navigate to “Menu” > “Settings & Privacy” > “Settings” > “Apps and Websites.”

For computer or laptop users, follow these steps:

  1. Log in to Facebook and visit “Privacy Checkup” at www.facebook.com/privacy/checkup.
  2. Select “Your Facebook Information Settings.”
  3. Click “Continue.”
  4. You’ll see a list of apps and websites where you’ve logged in using Facebook.

You can choose what to remove, decide whether everything from the timeline should be deleted, and opt to send notifications.

Informing Friends and Contacts

Deleting a Facebook account can be sudden for friends and contacts of the departed. As a surviving family member, if you still have access to the account, it can be used to share vital information such as obituaries and details about the funeral. Keeping the account active allows friends and contacts to stay updated with crucial information and extend their support to the bereaved.

Preserving Online Identity

For some individuals, their online identity holds as much significance as their offline existence. Terminating the deceased’s Facebook account might feel like erasing a part of the person for the surviving family. Maintaining the account can aid in preserving this online identity, ensuring a sense of the person’s continued presence in the digital realm. One option is converting the account into an “In Memoriam” page. Instructions on how to do this can be found in our knowledge base: https://digitallifelegacy.nl/herdenkingsstatus-facebook/

Deliberate Thought

While the urge to take swift action after a loved one’s passing is natural, it’s essential to carefully deliberate before deciding to delete or keep the Facebook account.

On one hand, it can grant access to other online accounts, inform friends about funeral details, and keep memories alive in the digital sphere.

On the other, closing accounts might align with the deceased’s wishes, there might be concerns about perpetuating their online presence, and the risk of identity theft due to lingering personal data online.

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