If you are in the midst of a divorce or think you may be soon, divorce lawyers suggest that you begin personal preparations early, especially in terms of your digital security and online presence.
Lawyers find that technology can be both a help and a hindrance to a divorce case, an area that many spouses forget about until it’s too late
Stay on the offensive with a digital security strategy recommended by divorce attorneys that will protect you online and prevent your data from being used as a weapon against you during divorce proceedings.
1. Communicate in Private
Privacy is of the utmost importance when you’re going through a divorce, so it’s critical that you communicate online securely, in private.
Divorce lawyers recommend getting a new private email address to communicate about your case and stop using other email accounts, especially joint ones.
2. Separate Everything
Make new personal accounts for sites or applications that you currently share access with your spouse, like email and financial accounts.
Stop using the old accounts but be sure to maintain access to them and the data stored within them, including your phone if you’re using a shared plan.
Once your divorce is over, you may want to purchase a new computer or laptop if you or your lawyer think your spouse might try to monitor your computer with spyware.
3. Stop Deleting and Destroying Evidence
Be careful when deleting things like old emails, social media posts, or even junk files on your computer.
Even if you are simply cleaning house, divorce attorneys warn that this could be viewed as an attempt to destroy evidence that could affect your case.
Discuss with your lawyer what you can and can’t delete from your computer to avoid accidentally deleting something important.
4. Change Passwords and Update Security Settings
Go through all your online accounts and change your passwords, whether they have been shared with your spouse or not.
Within those accounts, adjust your security settings to add 2-factor authentication if it’s available.
If any accounts share info or send automatic emails, update that as well.
4. Navigate and Monitor Social Media with Caution
Social media can be very problematic during a divorce, even when you think you are controlling your share settings.
It’s easy to say something that can be taken out of context or vent to a friend who ends up sharing your words or making them visible to others.
Most divorce lawyers recommend that you completely stop using social media until the divorce is finalized.
At the same time, you do want to log in every so often and monitor what your spouse is doing on their social accounts and what they might be saying to others.
5. Discuss Technology with Your Divorce Lawyer
Different technology can affect your divorce case in many ways that you may not even know about.
In addition to the practices mentioned above, it’s important to discuss your online presence with your divorce lawyer and get his or her advice on other steps you should take to keep yourself secure and maintain your online data while avoiding actions that could be unlawful such as spying.
Your attorney will help you understand what files you can delete from your computer, which should be saved, as well as when to alert your lawyer about something you see on social media or one of your joint online accounts.
Use An Offensive Strategy With Digital Security When Divorcing
The important message that we as divorce attorneys hope to send here is the critical need to consider your digital footprint and protect yourself online when filing for a divorce.
Before you act on anything digital, always first discuss it with your divorce lawyer to ensure you are acting legally because by securing your online presence and personal privacy, you will reduce the chance of your spouse finding something they can use against you during divorce proceedings!
Garza & Elizondo, LLP
680 East St. Charles St, Suite 600
Brownsville TX 78520
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2395 La Palma Street, Suite A
San Benito TX 78586