We live in a digital world where the most of our day-to-day activities are online. I communicate with my friends and family, pay my bills, shop and work online. I can’t remember the last time I printed a picture or went to the post office to send a letter. And, like so many other people, I’m looking for a way to protect my digital assets.

Here are three useful tips to manage and protect your virtual assets.

1. Identify all your online assets

Spend few hours to identify your important digital assets. These might be emails, social media accounts, any website subscriptions, pictures and videos. When I first started this process I thought it would take a long time but it all came together very quickly. In fact this step of the process took less than twenty minutes to write down on a pad of paper.

Now you can use our free digital estate planning checklist to identify all your online assets in less than an hour.

2. Store them safely

Once you have all those digital assets identified, the next step is to safely store them for you or for your loved ones. If you try to store them in your desk, you’re going to have a problem. They’re not paper, they’re digital. That means your best alternative is to do what I have done and create a vault on AfterVault, record each asset in its predefined AfterVault category, and rest assured your information will be protected and in order for your survivors. Way, way in the future, right?

3. Leave clear instructions

Finally, don’t forget to state your wishes regarding your digital assets. Make sure the people you love know what you want them to do. For instance, if you are storing Social Media information, you can state your instructions there on the line for each social media site you use. You can leave a name and password for them but most social media accounts can take care of your wishes without requiring your guardian to have that information. You can read more about this in the AfterVault blog.

In this way, you can make sure your digital assets are protected. So…when is the best time to get this done. I think you probably already know that answer: Now! As Billy Gibbons says ” … sooner rather than later, any other form other than digital media will be a thing of the past. It won’t vanish, but let’s face it, this is seemingly the way of the future.”