Protect a loved one’s Facebook account

Yesterday, I saw a heartbreaking post from an old friend of mine. Someone had apparently hacked her recently deceased sister’s Facebook page and deleted a lot of precious memories.  The worst part is that it was completely preventable.

It’s possible to lock the Facebook page of a deceased relative. Their posts are still visible but no one can make any changes to it. The password can’t be changed. Posts can no longer be made. No one can take down photos. Friends can still make posts on that page when they’re thinking about a loved one, though. The page won’t be able to accept friend requests and friends won’t get reminders of things like birthdays.

The account keeps the deceased’s previous privacy settings. So if he or she permitted friends to post on the timeline, friends and family can still share memories there. Plus they can also send private messages, if they wish.

Content shared by the deceased remains on Facebook and friends can still see it.  Photos, status updates, links, videos etc… are still visible.

However, friends won’t receive special occasion reminders and the deceased won’t pop up under suggestions for People You May Know.

To request that an account be memorialized, follow this link and fill out the form.  It’s a simple form that requests basic information.

Family members and friends can request the change. To prevent fraud or pranks in terrible taste, Facebook will request a link to an obituary or news article.

Once memorialized, the account will read “Remembering” at the top. This also lets folks who visit the page know that the person has passed if they haven’t already been informed.

If immediate family members prefer, they can request the removal of the deceased’s account by following this link. For that, you’ll need a birth and death certificate and proof that you are a representative of the deceased or their estate.

If you’d like to create a page in memory of someone who has already passed away, you would go to the Create a page section and create a page in memory of that person.

And I think it’s a good time to remind people that it’s a good idea to make sure that passwords to your social media accounts, blogs, e-mail and other online accounts are important. It’s not a bad idea to make sure you keep that information stored with your will and other important papers in the event you die or become incapacitated.

Users can also appoint someone as a legacy contact to manage their account after they die. I’ll explain how to do that in a future article.

2 thoughts on “Protect a loved one’s Facebook account

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.