How do I make a local archive of my important digital items?
An important task in managing your digital property, even outside of the larger issues surrounding death, is to periodically download your data and keep local copies. This is perhaps easier than you think and many companies have processes in place so that your data may be downloaded and archived outside of their systems. This data may include all the photos that you have taken and uploaded and even all the comments and other interactions that you have made on the site.
For instance, Facebook allows individuals to download all the information they have shared on their timeline including photos, status updates, and comments. There are also expanded options that allow individuals to view cookies, logins, logouts and almost any other way of interacting with the site. See: https://www.facebook.com/help/131112897028467/
Twitter also now allows individuals to download their entire twitter archive from the beginning. See: http://blog.twitter.com/2012/12/your-twitter-archive.html
YouTube allows you to download and archive your entire YouTube uploads in the original uploaded format. See: http://12starsmedia.com/blog/how-to-download-archive-your-entire-youtube-library
Also, Google’s take-out service allows users to download and archive data from many of their Google services. See: https://www.google.com/takeout/
Downloading and archiving your Gmail account is a little more difficult; here is a blog post that outlines how to do it. See: http://www.makeuseof.com/tag/download-gmail-google-data/