Book Review: Take Control of Your Digital Legacy

The following book review was written by Bobbi King:

Take Control of Your Digital Legacy
By Joe Kissell. An ebook, published at TidBITS Publishing, Inc., 2017. 127 pages.

At my age, those disagreeable, irksome end-of-life medical, financial, and genealogy issues raise their ugly heads. I dutifully pay attention to them for awhile, but after a time, I stop dealing about them and go back to working on more of the fun stuff. But I have to say, it never, ever, occurred to me that I needed to consider the legacy of my personal digital life.

You know, Facebook, LinkedIn, My Heritage, Ancestry, it’s quite a list once you make it. My personal computer, my genealogy software, my photo files, my research files, my subscriptions, my email accounts; what was paper in the 20th century is digital in the 21st century. And it still needs to be dealt with, if I want any of it to survive outside a Dell. My decades of photos, research, and genealogy reside in what my kids will see as a hard, gray laptop containing nothing they’re interested in. They will never open it, unless I convince them to care about what’s in it.

Take Control of Your Digital Legacy is a sourcebook to successfully identify and safely preserve our digital estates. It’s an ebook, one among many this techy/foodie writer has published under his Take Control titles. He even has one titled Take Control of Thanksgiving Dinner. (My turkey day is well in hand.)

Some chapters are: Envision Your Digital Legacy; Inventory Your Digital Assets; Make High-level Decisions; Deal with Passwords; Deal with Email; Deal with Social Media; and Create a Legacy Dossier. There are more useful chapters, all reminding us to not ignore our digital afterlives.

But even more than just your family not being able to access your files, there may be a critical and permanent loss in the form of some destroyed photos or documents that only you digitized in time, or any important family or record type that you happened to save digitally before it was lost forever. In the old days, we made photocopies and left behind the papers, to be retrieved from a box or scrapbook. But nowadays, that may not be the case.

Digital is invisible and buried forever, unless we leave our successors some reason to value it and find it.

Take Control of Your Digital Legacy is available from the publisher at and a Kindle edition (readable on almost all ebook readers as well as on Windows, Macintosh, Chromebook, iPad, and other computers), is available from Amazon at:




sad that you can only get an E-version … would prefer a hard-copy on this one


    In these cases I download the PDF, then print out the pages and place into a 3-ring binder. Then I can scribble on the pages, take them out one by one, or whatever. But unfortunately, it’s not published as a hardcover.


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