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Digital Footprint

Will Your Digital Footprint Come Back to Haunt Your Successors?

July 25, 2019

While none of us like facing our own mortality, as a conscientious CNC shop owner you’ve likely given thought to what would happen if you were suddenly no longer there. Hopefully, you’ve put a succession plan in place, shared your last wishes and financial information with your family, and provided instructions as to where your business successors and heirs can locate the important documents they need going forward.

At one time all of this information was on paper and housed in file cabinets or storage boxes. This, of course, is no longer the case. Which means we all have a significant digital footprint.

That’s why now is the time to ask yourself: Do your successors know where and how to access, retrieve and manage all of your data from online accounts, remote servers and computers? Such knowledge will be crucial to your shop’s survival and the wellbeing of your family.

One more extremely important point: All of this digital information is vulnerable to identity theft that could ruin your business and your loved ones’ futures. “Theft after death” has become a lucrative opportunity for cyberthieves who drain bank accounts, run up credit card debt and demand ransom for business and personal data they hold hostage.

For all of these reasons you should create a comprehensive list of the locations, user names and passwords for all of your digital data, and provide the list to business and family members you trust, and/or to your attorney or estate planner.

Once you begin the process, you may be surprised to learn how many places these data are located. To prevent legal challenges or costly delays, be sure to authorize access to accounts and online sites for your designated successors.

While not an exhaustive list, the following may help you get started:

  • Remote servers that back up your business computers containing
    • Customer names, locations, order histories and more
    • Financial information
    • Legal documents
    • CAD drawings and other intellectual property
  • Online banking, credit and other financial sites
  • Tax reporting and other government sites
  • Dropbox or other file storage sites
  • Email accounts with years of activity
    • Your internal network
    • External email servers, such as Gmail
  • Social media such as
    • LinkedIn
    • Facebook
    • Twitter
    • YouTube or Vimeo postings
  • Online sites for trade and other associations
  • Your personal computers
  • External hard drives with archival information

It’s also a good idea to close any online sites you no longer use to save your successors the effort.

As a family owned and operated company serving CNC shops for more than 95 years, Gosiger supports our customers with information like this as well as by offering advanced manufacturing technologies and applications assistance. Why? Because we believe that helping you succeed makes us more successful. To learn more contact your nearest Gosiger facility.