Securing Electronic & Online Identity During Separation & Divorce

A recent article in The USA Today discussed things that separated or divorcing couplesDivorce Online Electronic Privacy should do right away to protect themselves and their privacy online as well as all electronics. The turmoil of preparing for or going through a divorce can make even important things take a back seat, but anyone facing this situation should consider the following steps to help protect one’s electronic privacy:

Change All Passwords

According to experts, the very first tip is to change your passwords – all of them. A February 2014 Pew Study found that 66 percent of couples have shared at least one account password with their partner, while 27 percent have shared their email password. Though sharing passwords is universally seen as a sign of trust, continuing to allow access to important information to someone with whom you’re embroiled in litigation is asking for trouble. While your spouse may never choose to access your private information, simply changing your password can ensure there is no prospect of having valuable personal information hijacked by an angry, estranged spouse.

Secure Your Gadgets

Given the wide use of smartphones and tablets, many Americans have vast troves of valuable personal information simply laying around the house for anyone to access. If you and your spouse still reside in the same house, it is incredibly easy for him/her to access not only your text messages, but also your emails, social media profiles, bank accounts, and credit card applications. Securing your personal electronic devices with a PIN can help prevent this kind of snooping.

Cut Off Shared Services

Though court orders requiring couples to maintain the status quo may prevent spouses from taking money from shared bank accounts, there is rarely any reason why one party cannot cut off some shared services. Most married couples share access to services like Netflix, Amazon, or iTunes – which may appear to be simple entertainment services, but these services can also contain valuable data.
For instance, a shared Apple ID gives your spouse access to your iCloud account, which can allow them to see your photos, contacts, emails, and even your physical location. Entertainment services like Netflix and Amazon allow for monitoring of purchases and also contain bank account information that you should protect. You should conduct an inventory of shared services so that you know which need to be canceled and reestablished again in your own name.

If you are considering separation and divorce contact our attorney, Donna Wagner, to schedule a consultation. She is experienced in family law and can help navigate you through the divorce process.

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