This morning, TODAY covered the story of “Digital Amnesia” — the experience of forgetting information that you trust a digital device to store and remember for you. We keep phone numbers, emails and even some passcodes on our digital devices which puts our information at risk and means our brains are out of the habit of memorizing this important information.
According to the study The Rise and Impact of Digital Amnesia by Kaspersky Lab, almost all (91.2%) of those surveyed agreed that they use the Internet as an online extension of their brain. Almost half (44.0%) also admit that their smartphone serves as their memory–everything they need to recall and want to have easy access to is all on it.
How do you fare against these simple questions:
– Can you dial the phone numbers of your family members from memory?
– How often have you reset a passcode in the past week because you couldn’t recall it?
My son’s phone died. Of course my husband is traveling and my son is leaving for an overnight trip. I’m not used to the idea of him leaving without a phone. I can’t text him “nite-nite” and I can’t see where he is on the “find my iPhone app.” I really want him to have that phone before he goes.
Our mobile plan is all organized under my husband’s account. When I show up at BestBuy, I can get in with his social security number and validation of my phone account, but for this matter, we really need to login to the portal to understand our upgrade options. Right now I’m being told I will have to pay a $200 penalty on top of the new phone fee. That’s unacceptable.
For those families like mine where you divide and conquer accounts, bill pay, and household services, check out this free solution that captures usernames and passcodes. I know that the usage terms don’t allow for sharing, but I’m going to make sure that my family can get what we need when we need it. For that reason, I created a simple solution for sharing our online information so that a loved one could get what they needed in the event that either my husband or myself are traveling.
After having to step in and use a Durable Power of Attorney (DPOA) to assist my parents, I quickly found so many gaps in its functionality, I devised many work arounds with my Dad so I could help them.
Not only were we surprised to find that a number of financial institutions declined to accept the DPOA, but there are many facets of our digital lives that it doesn’t cover.
For those of us who use online services, email accounts and enjoy the online bill-pay services provided by our banks, what we don’t know can hurt us. If you haven’t stopped to read the “terms and conditions” you accepted, they typically state you can’t share the account and the provider basically dictates the rules. If you are incapacitated, the only way a loved one can get access is if you share your username and passcode.
If you don’t have a list that documents this information for your own benefit and that can provide loved ones with needed information, click here to download a free chapter called “Taming the Internet” from the Amazon best-seller MemoryBanc: Your Workbook for Organizing Life that includes worksheets and details on how you can provide loved ones with the information they may need to help you.