Unraveling your personal and financial life from your ex during a divorce is complicated. It can require working with forensic accountants, counselors and other professionals who can help you untangle assets and living arrangements so you can start the next chapter on your terms.
However, you do not need professional guidance to help you in some aspects of the divorce process. For instance, when it comes to your digital life, you can take steps to redefine and protect yourself in the virtual environment.
Change your passwords
While you and your spouse might have shared everything during a marriage, there is likely no reason to share things like access to your online accounts when you divorce. Changing your passwords can help you protect your information.
Thus, parties would be wise to change passwords on things including:
- Social media accounts
- Personal devices (tablets, computers and phones)
- Bank accounts
- Cloud storage
- Streaming services
- Shopping sites
When you change these passwords and login credentials, you can prevent an ex from seeing something or doing something that derails the divorce process.
Disconnect smart home devices
These days, people can see and control many things in their homes when they are gone. Using smart home devices, people can see who comes to the house or what they are doing inside; they can turn off lights, adjust the thermostat or record sounds.
Thus, disconnecting these devices or changing access permissions can be crucial in protecting your privacy and safety when you are divorcing.
Assess your digital footprint
Everything you do, say and share online can leave a footprint. And if your divorce is highly contentious, your ex could be looking for anything to use against you, including your digital habits and behaviors.
Depending on how worried you are about this, you can reduce your digital footprint by:
- Deleting old accounts
- Deleting free apps
- Avoiding the use of common browsers like Chrome or Firefox
- Clearing personal data from being stored on sites
- Hiring a data-broker service to manage your online persona
Too often, people overlook their digital life and reputation during a divorce. However, this can be a costly mistake and cause conflicts. Thus, taking these steps can help you navigate a split more easily and privately.