Manage Your Digital Afterlife with Perpetu

In the last few years, perhaps without realising it, our lives have gotten almost completely digitized. There’s an inbox full of amazing conversations, a cloud storage filled with photos and videos that bring back memories, and social networks that tell you just how important those personal connections in your life are.

And it begs the question: what happens to all of this data if you were to die? It’s a morbid topic and no one likes to face their own mortality, but at some point, we are all going to be moving on. However, our digital data — all those photos and videos and emails and chats — are going to stay right where they are, almost like a ghostly reminder of our life.

You may feel a need to manage what happens to this data. Perhaps keep it somewhere safely so that it doesn’t get deleted because your account is dormant, or to ensure that it doesn’t fall into the wrong hands. That’s what Perpetu is all about.

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The first step to using Perpetu is signing up for an account. You can create a new login or sign in with your current Gmail, Facebook or Twitter credentials. You will first be taken to the Dashboard, which is essentially an introduction to the services Perpetu offers.

Trusted Notifiers

This is actually the most important part of the app. You obviously don’t want Perpetu to think that you are dead when you’re not and start executing your final digital wishes. The ‘trusted notifiers’ are people who you add so that they can inform Perpetu of your demise.

Each account has a unique username and secret code. Download this PDF file and send it to someone you trust, who can then email it to the Perpetu team when the time comes. You also have the option to send it to multiple users.

After Perpetu receives that notification, they always try to contact you first. If you don’t reply for 30 days, only then does the team carry out your wishes. It’s a logical failsafe option, but the 30-day delay seems a bit too long to me.

Once you do that, also update your ‘Trusted Notifiers’ page to acknowledge that you have finished this step.

Final Wishes

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In this section, you will be able to connect Perpetu to the various services you use. Current options include Gmail, Facebook, Twitter, Dropbox and GitHub, and the developers say they are adding more accounts.

Once you connect a network like Facebook, you will get options to manage what happens after your death. The free version of Perpetu lets you customize a final message that will be auto-published on your Facebook wall after your demise. The pro version includes more options, such as downloading photos, timeline or private messages.

Similarly, in Gmail, you can choose to download or delete emails, as well as set up an auto-reply and forward all future emails to a different account.

Private Emails & Contacts

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Apart from the public messages you can leave on social networks, there are some people whom you want to say a private farewell to. Perpetu has a system in place for that, wherein you can add contacts to your account and compose a private email to be sent to them. Currently, you have to add the contacts manually, but Perpetu is working on a system to let you import Gmail contacts.

The email itself is a simple affair. Just type the email address of the recipient, the subject and the message itself. All the emails you compose are ready for you to edit and review at any time in the future.

Free vs Classic

As I mentioned earlier, there are two types of accounts — Free and Classic. The Free plan lets you connect unlimited social accounts but allows for only one final wish per account. You also get to send out only one private email.

The Classic plan is an all-you-can-eat affair, allowing for unlimited final wishes and private emails. Weirdly, you can’t seem to sign up for the Classic account any more. The company has only put up a notice saying they have concluded their previous promotion and now the Classic account is ‘coming soon’.

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Final Thoughts

Apart from the snafu with signing up for the Classic plan, I am fairly pleased with the simplicity of Perpetu. It was a breeze to set it up with all of my accounts and respective final wishes. And I am particularly happy with the double-check system of figuring out whether I’m really dead or not, where my trusted notifier first contacts the company, which in turn tries to verify it with me via email.

Once the Classic plan is back into action, this is a worthwhile service to sign up for. Much like insurance and wills, you don’t want the worst to happen without this backup plan.


Summary

Perpetu is your will for your online accounts, allowing you to decide what happens to your social networks, email and cloud storage after your death.

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