While dead men may tell no tales, there’s now a way for them to send emails. Dead Man’s Switch is a free service where you can compose meaningful messages to be sent out should you shuffle off the mortal coil leaving important unfinished business, like who gets your collection of monitor pets. Although, if it was that important, you probably should have written a proper will.
All you do is compose your emails, then wait. The service will email you 30 days after you visit the site and if you don’t respond, will send reminders up until 60 days of absence at which point they send out all your queued messages. They’re working on a way to customise the nag intervals so that if you take an internet vacation for more than 60 days people won’t [have another reason to] think that you’re dead. I wonder if it will hold up in court?
You write a few e-mails, and choose the recipients. These emails are encrypted with military-grade algorithms, so you can be sure that no-one except the intended recipient will ever read them. Your switch will email you every so often, asking you to show that you are fine by clicking a link. If something were to… happen… to you, your switch would then send the emails you wrote to the recipients you specified. Sort of an “electronic will”, one could say. 30 days after your last visit to the site, an email gets sent to you urging you to log back in to verify you are okay. A second email gets sent two weeks after that, and the third email is a week after that. If you haven’t logged in in the following week (for a total of sixty estranged days), your emails get sent and we cry a single bitter tear for this tragic loss.