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Ask Slashdot: What's the Best Way To Preserve a "Digital Inheritance"? 191

Posted by samzenpus
from the won't-somebody-please-think-of-the-children? dept.
First time accepted submitter ron-l-j writes "The last few months a digital inheritance idea has been floating around in my head, and I am sure the thought has crossed your mind as well. With Google talking about the inactive account program it made me wonder, how do I make sure my children get my iTunes, and amazon movies? I have plenty of mp4 movies on my server that will just set itself to admin with no password after I do not log in within a 6 month time frame. But what about the huge amount spent on digital content every year? What's the best way to make sure your "digital inheritance" gets passed down?"
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Ask Slashdot: What's the Best Way To Preserve a "Digital Inheritance"?

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  • Make a list (Score:5, Interesting)

    by ShanghaiBill (739463) * on Monday April 15, 2013 @10:52AM (#43452653)

    I keep all my media files on a shared server. Everyone in my family knows the password.

    For all my accounts, I use passwords with the same 6 character prefix, and varying suffixes. The suffixes are listed on an appendix to my will. They are also on an XD card that I keep in this keychain fob [] in my pocket.

    But I only record the suffixes because both my wife and daughter (age 14) know the prefix. So if the prefix were 7xU32w, then the list might say "correct horse battery staple", but the real password would be "7xU32wcorrect horse battery staple". If anyone outside my family saw the password list, it would be worthless to them because they don't know the prefix, nor do they even know that there is a prefix.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 15, 2013 @11:03AM (#43452771)

    Train them right from the beginning. I have the iPod dock playing music for my son every morning. I make it a point to only have "good" music on there, and we goofy dance to every up-beat song we can. Hopefully he'll have a nice smile on his face, and fondly remembers to good times he had with dad, whenever he hears these songs.

    Make a memory, not an old man ranting point about today's music.

  • Digital Photos (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Doug Otto (2821601) on Monday April 15, 2013 @11:26AM (#43453001)
    The days of family photos being passed down are gone. A shoe-box full of slides is remarkable durable, barring a fire. When grandma dies her collection of digital photos dies with her. While perhaps no exactly a "first world problem" it's a pretty significant issue when you consider the amount of history that can be lost. It's especially important to artists. Imagine if all of art produced by the likes of Picaso, Rembrandt, Van Gogh vanished when the died and someone shut down their computers. Most archival media available is susceptible to silent bit rot and spinning media requires care as well.
  • by ZeroPly (881915) on Monday April 15, 2013 @11:34AM (#43453077)
    ... in a manner of speaking. This is a well known problem in crypto.

    My way: all of my passwords and secret documents are in an encrypted folder which I update along with my will. Included are final farewells, secrets, where the bodies are buried, and so on. The key is split (look up PKI key splitting) into 5 parts. My girlfriend, father, buddy at work, and two of my friends each have a part. For security reasons, those are just examples. Four of those parts together are required to unlock. At my death each one turns in their part to the executor of my will who already has instructions on how to get it put together.

    It is not a good idea to naively split a 10 char password into two 5 char pieces, and assume that brute force will be necessary to guess one of those parts. That is a very dangerous assumption if you are not an expert with the particular algorithms used.
  • Re:The answer is... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by captaindomon (870655) on Monday April 15, 2013 @12:13PM (#43453401)
    That's a good idea, but legally moving the money into the corporation in order to purchase the stuff gets pretty complicated tax-wise. You might want to look at something like an open trust instead. Talk to your tax lawyer. IANAL.

Lo! Men have become the tool of their tools. -- Henry David Thoreau