Even when you start out with the best of intentions, divorce can get pretty messy. Protecting your privacy online and off might not be easy if your spouse is determined to pry into your personal correspondence, look at your bank accounts and credit cards or even track your location.
Here are some key strategies you can use to establish and keep some digital privacy as you proceed with your divorce:
Change your passwords
Change the passcodes on your phone, laptop, tablet and any other electronic device you have and consider adding biometric controls that will stop anyone but you from gaining access to them.
Then, make a list of every online account and app that you use and systematically change those passwords, too. While you naturally want to protect your bank accounts and email from intrusion, don’t forget to change your passwords on your social media accounts and shopping sites like Amazon, too. Whenever possible, set up two-factor identification procedures that will require someone to both know your password and have access to your email or phone before they can log in.
Check for spyware
Even if your spouse isn’t particularly technologically savvy, they may know how to add spyware to your laptop, tablet or phone. This kind of software can track everything you do online and every keystroke you make – and transmit the data from afar.
Get a good spyware and malware program and use it on everything. Make sure that you regularly re-run the program to make sure that your devices haven’t been compromised.
Limit your social media use
Social media is an angry spouse’s hunting grounds for information that could potentially be used to influence property settlements, issues of support and custody – so limit your use of social media platforms as much as possible.
At a minimum, you want to cull your “friends” list, increase your privacy settings and avoid sharing any personal information about your location, your hobbies, your relationships with others or your plans for the future. You may want to consider simply abandoning social media for the duration or starting new accounts from scratch.
Divorces can be tough under even the best of circumstances. If you’re approaching the end of your marriage, it’s usually wisest to seek experienced legal assistance as early as possible.