A growing challenge that divorce lawyers and their clients deal with today is digital security.
As we become more reliant on all things digital and share accounts as well as other personal information with our spouses online, keeping track of it is important, especially if there is a divorce on the horizon.
If you and your spouse are terminating your marriage, divorce attorneys recommend that you examine your digital footprint ahead of time if possible and take some precautions to defend yourself.
Examine All Your Digital Accounts
First and foremost, divorce attorneys advise that you examine both your own and your spouse’s digital footprint in terms of accounts you both share and can access.
Be sure you know all of those shared accounts as well as the passwords, login details, and personal information held within those accounts.
Accounts that should be protected include financial, utility, insurance, email, and any other account that contains your personal information.
As much as we don’t want to think that our spouse would use that information against us, divorce lawyers recommend you be prepared for the possibility that they could do just that, making it vital to retain access to all your joint accounts and the information contained within them.
Gather Financial Information
Financial accounts become very important in a divorce, especially when divorce attorneys start to advise you and your spouse on the division of property and wealth.
It’s best that you access your digital financial accounts regularly, make sure everything looks as it should, and regularly print out your statements.
Get copies of your will and estate details as well and keep them safe; be sure to change beneficiaries as soon as it is feasible.
It’s also recommended that you review your credit report to monitor accounts open in your name and set alerts to be notified of any issues or changes should your spouse make any or even open new accounts in your name.
Preserve and Secure Digital Records
One of the best ways to preserve your digital records is to copy the hard drive on your personal or shared computer so you have proof of accounts, financial records, and other personal information at the time the copy is made.
On the other hand, divorce attorneys do warn that this is only recommended if you have yet to file for divorce; if your divorce is already pending, you may need permission to do so.
Divorce lawyers also suggest that you change the passwords on any of your private accounts, such as social media, personal financial accounts, and anything else that might be of interest and used by your spouse against you in the divorce.
Be on the Defensive with Digital Security
As impossible as it may seem, divorce lawyers do find there are times when an emotional divorce can lead a spouse to do dishonest things such as trying to manipulate online accounts or stealing personal information.
This is why it’s always best for both spouses to take steps to protect their digital security as soon as the possibility of a divorce becomes known.
In doing so, you can ensure your data is used to help your position in the divorce case while preventing your spouse from using it against you instead!
Be sure to read the second part of this series that looks beyond a good defensive strategy to an offense one: Divorce and Your Digital Security 2 - An Offensive Strategy!
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