As Americans, our online and offline lives are almost always intertwined, affecting the way we live, work and communicate. Yet for all of the positive ways digital technology has changed our lives, it can create a host of challenges in regards to privacy, especially for individuals going through or contemplating a divorce or separation. Whether warranted or not, spousal spying can lead to major issues, so it is best to be proactive in regards to your electronic privacy. The following are some steps you can take now to protect yourself from unwanted snooping by your spouse.
Change Your Passwords
A recent survey revealed that 67 percent of couples share a least one online account password. While this can be a convenience when things are going well, it is not a good idea when divorce is on the horizon. Allowing your spouse access to your email, social media accounts, and bank account information can expose you to the chance that they will hijack your account, make unauthorized changes, or collect potentially damaging information to use against you in court or at the settlement table. Digital evidence can be very compelling in divorce court, so it is best to cut off access now rather than face the consequences later.
Disable Automatic Logins
If you and your spouse are still living together and share a home computer, there are a number of things you can do to protect your personal information from prying eyes. First, go to your browser settings and delete saved passwords and disable the autofill function. Many popular sites will keep users perpetually logged in as a convenience, but if you forget to log out each time, anyone who uses the computer can easily access your accounts. Another option is to regularly use private browsing, which will not appear in your browsing history, cache pages or store cookies. You can also set your browser to delete your history at regular intervals, such as once a week or once a day.
Secure Wireless Devices
Roughly three-quarters of Americans today own a smart phone, allowing us to be constantly connected to our work lives, social spheres and financial information. Your smart phone or tablet can be a veritable treasure trove of information you may not want your spouse to know or use against you in your divorce proceedings. Secure all of your wireless devices with a pin or password and turn off your location services.
Cut Off Shared Services
Many couples share access to online services like Netflix, Amazon or Apple iCloud. While seemingly innocuous, these services can provide potentially damaging information such as browsing and purchase history, credit card and bank information, photos and even your physical location. Protect your privacy by canceling these services and re-establishing them in your own name.
Use Caution with Social Media
Remember that anything you post online is there to stay forever and you have far less control over who can see your social media profiles than you probably think. No matter what your privacy settings are, if it is not something you would want the world to see, it is best not to post it. Divorce and separation are tough enough without the added stress that social media can create. It is usually advisable to disable your social media accounts for a time and wait for the dust to settle on your divorce. At the very least, update your privacy settings to share with only the people you truly can trust.
Marlton Divorce Lawyers at the Law Offices of Richard C. Klein Protect Individuals from Unlawful Spousal Spying
Federal and state laws prohibit certain types of electronic spying. That being said, some of the laws can be vague or interpreted differently when it comes to married couples. If you believe your spouse may be spying on you, or if you would like more information about how to protect your online privacy during a divorce or separation, attorneys at the can help. Call 856-544-9155 today to arrange an initial consultation with a qualified or ask us a question by contacting us online.