Welcome back. If you’re just stumbling onto this series now, we recommend you take a few minutes and get caught up. Otherwise, if you’ve been with us from the start you know we’re looking at tech tips that can make or break a divorce. So far on the list we’ve covered all sorts of topics, from separating joint online accounts, to disabling tattle tale location apps.
Moving on, we’ll be talking about another couple of important tech-related issues that will come up during a divorce – passwords and digital surveillance. You’ll need to get to these asap. And the sooner the better! Because divorces can bring out the worst in people, and it would be awful to have your Michigan divorce settlement negatively affected by the fact that your spouse had access to things that should have been kept private. So here goes…
Passwords: Do NOT Keep It Simple!
You need to create new passwords for ALL of your accounts. And by that we don’t mean trade up one obvious password for another. It’s critical that you keep your soon-to-be ex out of all of your personal accounts. So pick something that won’t be easy to figure out by someone who’s spent years of their life with you.
No childhood best friend names, no mother’s maiden names or backwards versions of your kids names. We’re talking real passwords here. Perhaps a repeated number and letter sequence that pertains to your job, or the birth years and initials of three cousins you only speak to occasionally on Facebook. You get the picture. (Long letter/number combinations are best!) So think hard – there’s no point in changing the password if it can be figured out in five easy tries by your spouse!
Privacy ceases to be an issue when a couple is getting divorced. So if your partner has access to your email, your Facebook messages, or anything else that needs to be kept private, you need to address that immediately. And while we’re here, we need to mention that it’s not okay to change passwords on accounts that belong to your spouse. You cannot keep them out of their own accounts out of spite!
You will need to conduct a surveillance sweep of your phone, your computer, your tablet, and any other tech devices that you keep and use with any regularity. In this day and age, surveillance apps are a dime a dozen. And there is a very real chance that your spouse is using your own tech to spy on you (which would be illegal here in Michigan!)
Disabling your location sharing apps and changing all of your passwords will only go so far if your own phone is tattling on you behind your back. However, apps like AntiSpy and Sophos are both free, and will do a great job of rooting out spyware and malware hidden on your phone. And remember, if your spouse has installed illegal tracking apps onto your phone, they will be looking at criminal charges!
But if you’re convinced you’re being spied on, and your anti-spyware apps aren’t finding anything, backup your phone’s data and do a complete factory reset. This will eliminate any apps the phone didn’t come equipped with by the manufacturer. This applies to your tablet, laptop, and any other device you own.
Do you need help from a skilled Michigan divorce attorney?
Join us next time, as we wrap up this series on divorce tech. Until then, however, if you or a loved one are considering divorce in Michigan, we recommend that you get help from an experienced divorce attorney. The divorce process can be complex, especially when the parting wasn’t amicable! So call The Kronzek Firm today at 866 766 5245, and discuss your situation with a skilled family law attorney. We are here to help!