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March 10, 2009

Your Digital Legacy

In a world where protecting your online identity is as important as protecting your credit cards, car titles, and home deeds, it onlylegacy makes sense that if something happens to you, there is someone you trust to take care of it. 

A company called Legacy Locker has now made that task a little easier. According to their website Legacy Locker is

"a safe, secure repository for your digital property that lets you grant access to online assets for friends and loved ones in the event of death or disability."

Essentially, legacy locker gives you a place to store all of the information that makes up your online identity. Email account information, online banking usernames and passwords, online bill pay and stock trade account information. In addition to providing a secure and easily accessible place to store all of this information, they allow you to select a beneficiary (or multiple beneficiaries) and in the event something happens to you, the information will be released to them. This can potentially save your family days, if not weeks of grief while trying to hunt down this information.

I love this idea...but am hesitant. Not only are you putting all the information necessary to access your online life in a single place, but you are putting it in place that really has no reputation, and this for me is a major concern. Now, there are security risks any time you are storing valuable information anywhere, so to mitigate these risks, people spread their information around, but this means more time spend managing information.

 

The Bad:

  1.  No real reputation: While founder Jeremy Toeman is known in the blogging and marketing world, he is not a security expert, nor is he an expert in estate management.
  2. All of your information is in one place: Never put all your eggs in one basket. Not only does it increase the risk of loss if there is a breach, it also increases the chance of a breach because they are now a high profile target.
  3. Website is not up to par: Their website lacks a lot of information, their ToS, Privacy Agreement, and Conditions of use are very cookie cutter, and not specific to the service they provide. In addition, there are A LOT of spelling errors, and other mistakes in terminology which indicates a lack of understanding of the service itself.  If they can't pay a proper copy editor, how can we trust they are paying someone to properly secure their site.

The Good:

  1. They make it clear that they will share your information, but only with affiliates who will be working with them on the service you bought, not 3rd party services.
  2. They have a proper SSL certificate in place through thawte, inc. Who is a trusted source in security
  3. They claim to have been audited by both thawte and McAfee.
  4. Data is encrypted at a higher level once stored than it is during transmission. Now this may sound bad, but they are using a 256 bit encryption during transmission, which is what banks use. Data is stored with a 512 bit encryption on the server, which is exceptional.
  5. It really is a good idea, and with the proper backing and effort it can be a great product.

 

My Opinion:

I think it is too early to pass judgement, especially since the product doesn't go live for another month. I like the idea, and I like that they are working with known security experts. I am however highly skeptical of storing so much information in one place, especially online. I wont be one of the first to sign up, but I will be keeping an eye on this product.

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