Yes, it’s true. And you can bet many of them didn’t see it coming.

Let that sink in for a minute. Every day, the equivalent of a small town from the Facebook population kicks the bucket – never to like a cute kitten meme ever again. At the rate things are going, the number of dead Facebook users will soon outnumber the living.

Will your Facebook profile become zombie food?

OK. The show The Walking Dead isn’t exactly real life (I mean if a rural cop like Rick can survive, where are all the Navy Seals?). But (in its super creepy awesomeness) it can serve as a warning to us.

For example, if you happen to unexpectedly meet an early demise (like so many unfortunate characters on the show), will somebody hack into your personal online information and zombify you (a.k.a. commit identity theft)? Will there be a Zombie You running around accessing pictures of your kids and notes you’ve exchanged with loved ones? Will Zombie You constantly post advertisements for cheap Viagra and Michael Kors handbags on your Facebook page? Worse yet, will Zombie You access your social security number, bank cards, email, or any other aspects of your private life that may be reachable online?

Each year, thieves steal the identities of 2.5 million dead Americans.

Ouch.

While identity theft may become less common in a post-apocalyptic society, it’s super hot today. Today’s humans (or rather the recently-departed of them) remain tempting targets for nasty hackers. Everything from social media profiles to online family photos to valuable online accounts are ripe for theft, exploitation, and manipulation.

Waiting until you’re dead may prove too late to stop the Zombie You.

When the only person who knows your login names and passwords is deceased (i.e., you), Zombie You can prove a tough foe to take down. Unless a loved one can properly access, address, and delete your online accounts, Zombie You could find enough zombie food to live on for years.

The strongest digital bullets you can give your loved ones are your login names and passwords along with instructions of what to do with your accounts if and when you meet your demise (or even if you become disabled).

Don’t leave a legacy of erectile dysfunction advertising behind.

[** Admit it, that subheadline did grab your attention, didn’t it? **]

The bottom line is this: these days, your digital life is a reflection of your real life. You have loaned it to the internet for the time being. If you want to keep it intact when you pass, you need to take some simple steps to make sure Real You keeps control and Zombie You doesn’t take over.

You can share your most important login names and passwords with loved ones now, along with instructions. Or you can securely store this information now but hold off sharing it until the time is right by using an easy online tool like Estate Map.

Do something to keep Zombie You from taking over.

After all, if the stats are correct, about 35 Facebook users died while you were reading this article. If you were one of them, well, I guess I’m talking to a zombie right now. So sorry about that whole dying thing. But please take it easy on the person formerly known as my blog reader.

image credit: http://zombiegamer.co.za/

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Joe Henderson is founder of Estate Map, which happens to be a handy tool to leave instructions about social media accounts and gobs of other stuff. He is an experienced estate attorney, honored among his peers as a Super Lawyer; rated “AV-preeminent” with Martindale-Hubbell, and rated “superb” with AVVO. He hopes any efforts to impersonate him will be impressively played by the incomparable Daniel Day-Lewis.

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