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  • Writer's pictureCarla Webb


This one's a strange #techtiptuesday It's an 'If I go missing' folder. Actually it's also useful for - if I have an accident, if I lose my memory, or any other type of unthinkable emergency. We've all read stories in the news where police are hindered because they can't access someone's phone records straight away. They need GPS tracking data, messages, photos, anything to help their search.

The 'If I go missing folder' trend was started by a true-crime podcast called Crime Junkie that I love listening to. The girls who created this podcast found that a common factor in many crimes is the valuable time wasted when loved ones don't have access to bank pin codes or mobile phone information to help in the search for their missing person. Precious days or weeks can be lost waiting to access important data that could help find their loved one, or track down the perpetrator of a crime.

This is sounding quite ominous, but it's just as relevant if you have an accident, memory loss, end up in a coma or even die unexpectedly and your family needs access to your personal data.

So here's how to start your own 'If I Go Missing' folder:

Create a folder with the relevant information, seal it, and tell one or two trusted loved ones where it is. Keep it somewhere very secure, or in a safe that they know how to access. Otherwise, if you have a break-in, you're giving the thieves some very useful information. If you are technically inclined you could also leave it on an encrypted hard drive in a safe, just make sure your loved ones know how to access both safe and hard drive. Then, if the worst were to happen, someone can access all that is necessary to help you and your family as swiftly as possible.

Here are some ideas of information that can be included in the folder although obviously, you choose what you want to put in. Don't feel the need to do it all, it can be quite depressing.

  • Smartphone data - access codes, apple id password, google account or whatever you need to let people access your phone. Even if your phone has gone missing with you, someone can enter your data on a new phone and access any relevant information they may need.

  • Banking - account numbers, passwords, credit card numbers, and access codes. Any debts or loans you may have, what accounts should have money in etc.

  • Personal account passwords - stuff like social media accounts. Not only might this help police should you go missing, but you may need someone to close or freeze your accounts.

  • Email accounts and passwords - needed to access information or even to delete accounts.

  • Computer or laptop passwords

  • Health insurance information, any allergies, illnesses or medication you might need.

  • Work contacts and passwords.

  • A will - the details of your notary or lawyer that has your will or if you don't have an official one, just a handwritten signed note will be taken into consideration by most countries.

  • Location of and codes for any safes or storage facilities you may have or where you keep valuables.

  • Photos - simple photos of you that could be published to help find you

  • If you are a parent, especially a single parent, you might want to add any information about your children under 18 that would be important for their carers were you to be unable to care for them.

If you really want to get carried away there is a pdf form you can fill in!

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