Computer Support for Northumberland
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Read All About IT! – Nov 2019

Posted on: 6th November, 2019

The latest edition of our Newsletter – Read All About IT! – has been published. You can read it here.

Welcome to Read All About IT!

Welcome to Read All About IT!, the newsletter from Northumberland Computer Support.

This informative bulletin will be published monthly, (or less), with the aim of keeping you up to date with the world of computers.

You can, of course, unsubscribe at any time that you wish, but I hope that you enjoy reading it, and that you forward a copy to your friends.

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What happens when you die?

This month’s newsletter has been hard to write, but stick with it. It’s not about when your computer dies, (and it will), but about when you, or a loved one, or a work colleague, dies.

Sadly, that is inevitable. (I’m sorry to break it to you so suddenly.)

My big sister, Susan, lost her fight against cancer last week. We all knew that the end was coming, but it’s still a massive shock to so many people, who all knew her as a bubbly, fun, sociable woman who lived life to the full.

But, now that she has passed away we are left not only with the terrible grief, but also with the awful admin tasks that accompany a death. We all used to live life “on the edge”, now we live our lives online instead. Susan was no exception and she has 2 iPads, a computer and a mobile phone. All password protected and none of those passwords written down or shared with anyone.

Of course, that’s exactly what we’re all told to do. Choose different passwords, that are impossible to guess, for every website you ever visit. Don’t write them down, don’t talk in your sleep, don’t tell your nearest and dearest what they are. Not even the dog!

I can get into the computer, of course, as Windows passwords aren’t worth the paper that they aren’t written down on. But it hasn’t been used in years, as the newer of the two iPads was where she spent her life. And it’s protected by a pass-code. That we can’t guess. By trying to guess it too many times the iPad becomes locked. Some iPads will wipe themselves if the wrong pass-code is tried too many times.

The older iPad isn’t protected and it does have a list of passwords. But they’re old. They’ve been changed, because we’re all told to change these dumb things regularly. The new iPad may well have a similar list, but without the pass-code to unlock it we’re stuck.

So, what should you do? Write down your passwords. Yes, I know everyone tells you not to do that, but just do it!

Keep the list of passwords with your will. (You do have a will? Good. Of course you do.) And put a note in your diary to update the list every 6 months. Along with usernames, memorable words, smartphone swipe patterns, PIN codes, account numbers, etc. Anything that you can think of that only you know.

Yes, this does go against all security advice you’ve ever been given before, but think about your loved ones. They can get a Death Certificate and trawl round the banks to get at your cash. But, Paypal balances? Amazon Prime account? Premium Bonds? Pensions & investments? Store Loyalty Cards can be worth quite a bit. How does anyone else know that these even exist when everything is online?

But it’s not all about the money, is it? Not least is easy access to your list of contacts so that your family can let the right people know. Otherwise you’ll have no-one turn up at your funeral. And 6 months of WhatsApp messages building up asking why you’re so quiet these days!

This newsletter is dedicated to my beautiful sister, Susan

Curlew Computers is based in Northumberland, between Alnwick and Morpeth.

We offer a better level of computer support to businesses, schools, charities and home users throughout the county.

Call us today on 01670 432 324

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