Going through a divorce is not only fueled with a variety of emotions, but it is also driven by parties attempting to obtain evidence of wrongdoing to be used as leverage in settlement or at trial. Sometimes it’s spurred on by plain old anger as one party looks for anything that can cause embarrassment to the other. Making it harder for information to be found can make your life (and case) a little easier.
With so much of our lives and business being conducted online these days, it’s important to secure our information so that it can’t be used against us during the divorce process. With cloud backups and numerous electronic devices, everything is vulnerable from emails and texts to Facebook messages. Even if your spouse isn’t after evidence of illicit activities, he or she may be looking for key information to use to open new credit accounts or secure loans while racking up debt in your name. It’s better not to risk it and take the necessary steps to prevent it from happening.
Protecting your privacy will bring you peace
Locking a vindictive or unstable spouse out of your accounts and out of your private life can require several technological tactics. In the end, it may be worth the time and inconvenience if it means less time fighting and cleaning up virtual messes.
Change all passwords and password systems
Set up two-factor authentication on all accounts that allow it. This requires you enter a verification code provided to you to enter on a trusted device when you sign in. Anyone who tries to sign into that account on another device will not be in possession of that code and you will receive a notice of an attempted login. You’ll also want to change any security questions and answers to prevent your spouse from gaining access that way. Whenever you are offered the option of creating your own security question, do so. It makes it harder for anyone to answer a question they may not know the answer to.
Also, odds are that your spouse knows at least some of your passwords, if not all of them. Changing them is necessary but not enough to protect you. If you and your spouse have been together long enough, odds are that he or she knows how you think. You may have even discussed your procedures for creating passwords with one another at a happier point in your lives. If you use a system to create passwords, it is time to change it up. Using your pet’s names and combinations of special dates will give your soon-to-be ex too much of a chance of figuring out a new password if you’ve just rotated the same information you always use.
When it comes to passwords and protecting your personal information, you may also want to consider:
- Disabling any automatic logins for your accounts, logging out completely when finished, and deleting your browser history to prevent cashed logins from inadvertently providing unauthorized access.
- Deactivate account sharing on all services that allow your spouse to access or piggyback off your accounts.
- Turn off location services to prevent your spouse from being able to track your whereabouts.
Adjust your social media presence
When you’ve had a social media account for years, the idea of setting up a new one to avoid your spouse’s prying eyes can feel like an invasion of your space. One way to look at it is that you can create the new one as a means of remaining in touch with only those people you absolutely trust. Excluding people from social media accounts can spark animosity but if they don’t know you have a new account, it’s easier to keep those relationships intact while the dust settles on your divorce.
If you can’t bring yourself to create new accounts, at a minimum you need to modify your privacy settings to block anyone you don’t specifically want seeing your activities. You’ll also want to remove anyone who may give your spouse information or even allow him access to their account in order to scan through yours.
If you use social media accounts for business purposes, such as marketing your products or services, that complicates the idea of simply starting over. Building a brand is hard work and you don’t want to throw that away. In circumstances like this, you may be better off consulting with a cyber security company that can guide you on how to prevent your spouse from interfering with your online presence.
Buy new devices and set up new accounts
While not everyone will be able to replace their computer and phone immediately, if you can, do it. It’s much easier than dealing with the potential problem of spyware lurking somewhere in your electronics. Starting fresh with new email addresses, phone numbers, internet providers, and other accounts won’t mean a thing if your spouse is getting every bit of information sent right back to him or her. Even security systems for your home could wind up compromised.
When you are going through divorce, you need the knowledge and support of an experienced legal team. Call the dedicated family law attorneys at the Law Offices of Adrian H. Altshuler & Associates at 615-977-9370 to schedule your free case evaluation today, or we invite you to reach out to us through our contact form to schedule your appointment. We have offices in Franklin, Columbia, and Brentwood for the convenience of our clients across Tennessee.