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What belongs to the digital heritage?

The digital heritage: its content and its challenges

There are over 50 million of us Internet users in France, millions of us checking our emails, our online bank accounts, sharing our photos and videos, commenting on a friend's Facebook post and best of all: investing in cryptocurrency on a daily basis. Our screens are everywhere, transforming and upsetting our lifestyles: it's the digital age. Our digital data is our digital heritage : "what we live with today, and what we will pass on to future generations. UNESCO has deepened this notion of heritage, by adopting on October 17, 2003, the Charter for the preservation of digital heritage. Every day, we use digital resources to create and share with others. This sharing of information is important, because we value it. What does this digital heritage really consist of? What is its content? What's at stake? Here are our answers.

What do our digital assets contain?

A digital heritage is by definition : a profusion of our electronic datawhich we tend to leave on various data carriers and on the Internet. Most of this data is password-protected to ensure confidentiality. Our digital data represents our personal data, i.e. " any information relating to a natural person likely to be identified, directly (name and surname) or indirectly (social security number, postal or e-mail address, voice or image) ". This information can be divided into different categories.  

Online profiles in media and social networks 

- Facebook, - Twitter, - Instagram, - LinkedIn, - WhatsApp, - Google, - Snapchat, - Skype, - YouTube, - dating sites -... Our personal data relates to our access data, personal information about our profile (name/first name, date of birth, gender), our news and downloaded media.  

Email accounts 

- Gmail, - Hotmail, - Outlook, - and other Orange, SFR and La Poste accounts, - ... A lot of information is communicated there, including our access codes, addresses, telephone numbers, EDF, cell phone and box bill information, pay slips, social security benefits, contacts and e-mail exchanges.  

Online accounts 

- Online banking, - Neo-banks, - PayPal, Google Pay, Apple Pay payment services, - Amazon, Esty, eBay online stores, - Bitcoin and NFT cryptocurrency wallets, - online betting and casino accounts, - Google, Apple, Amazon accounts, - ... The information we deliver includes access codes, assets, contracts, email history, transaction lists, direct debits and cancellation provisions.  

Online services 

- Cloud services, - WordPress work platforms, - hosting providers and domain names, - social media tools, - Netflix and Deezer streaming services, - financial software, - crowdfunding platforms, - YouTube channels, - ... By logging on to these services we consult our access data, contract details, cancellation conditions, downloaded media, message history, transaction lists and commercial data. Our identity and personality are often reflected through our contact lists, the files we produce, the YouTube sounds we listen to, the articles we have added to our favorites, the Instagram accounts we follow, our photo albums we have created in the Cloud, our downloads, our searches or even our comments on social networks.

Why is it so important to manage our digital assets?

We store and record everything, which can lead to an overload of useless information: is infobesity (Majidet al, 2010) of our digital heritage. The advantage of our digital heritage is that it is clear and easily transferable. To achieve this, a certain amount of daily organization is required.  

Create your digital archive:

Ideally, you should reference all your archives that are stored in a personal space such as a computer hard drive or Cloud. Saving your data in open formats guarantees long-term preservation.  

Classify your digital data 

Your most important personal data should be easy to find. To do this, take the time to choose the name of your files. For example, if it's your EDF bills, name your file: "Factures EDF 2022". Each name should have a meaning for you and be representative of all the data stored in the file.  

Organize your files by category 

To make browsing your archives easier, create a set of folders and subfolders that will allow you to access from the general to the more specific. So make a folder for work, finance, medical, taxes, subscriptions, adding the documents you need. Sort out and delete documents you don't need.  

Passing on our digital legacy more easily:

Organizing our digital heritage while we're still alive not only makes it easier to manage, it also makes it easier to pass on digital data to our heirs. If documents are more easily accessible, our next of kin will be able, for example, to give the notary the various proofs of our expenses, payments and other documents useful for the succession. To pass on your digital legacywrite it yourself the inventory of your passwords, encryption keys for your digital assets, the locations of your files likely to be used for inheritance purposes, documents, videos, photos of value to your loved ones, as well as online subscriptions to be cancelled. Prepare your digital estate by archiving all your confidential data in a secure safe Legapass. On your death, your heirs will be able to retrieve everything in the Legapass offline safe. Digital assets have become an important issue in inheritance law - they are the guarantors of our identity, of our virtual existence. Ensuring its proper transmission is now our mission for the coming years. Don't waste time and open your account.

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The value of your digital assets is inestimable. 💎
The value of your digital assets is inestimable. 💎