One of the first things you should do when getting a divorce is to change your passwords and pins. Many couples share passwords for convenience. That is no longer advisable when you are splitting up as the divorce process inherently creates adverse interests. While your spouse doesn’t have a right to look at your private information , that doesn’t mean he or she won’t. As a result, you should protect your privacy by changing the following passwords and pins:
- Computer (including desktop, laptop, tablet)
- Social media
- Personal bank accounts and ATM and debit cards
- Credit cards
- Retail accounts (Amazon, eBay, stores)
- Cloud services
- Music and streaming services
- Anything else which may have a password or pin associated with accessing it
Your email should be changed first since typically when you change a password, verification will be sent to your email. Bank accounts should be next but don’t change joint accounts without discussing it with your attorney.
In choosing a new password, create a difficult one that your spouse won’t be able to guess. Follow recommended guidelines by randomly mixing numbers, upper- and lower-case letters and symbols as permitted and make it 12 characters in length. Don’t use common words, names or dates your spouse could figure out. You can use a password management tool to help you keep track of them. Also, change your security questions to ones that your spouse cannot answer. Do this even if you think that your spouse does not know your passwords. It’s better to be safe than sorry.
If you have shared a computer in the past and your spouse is keeping the computer, make sure you have completely wiped out all personal information on it. Deleting files is not enough. There are tools that can help you do this.
On social media, you may also want to block your spouse from seeing your posts so change your privacy settings.
It may be annoying to go through this exercise, but do you really want to take the chance that your spouse will access your personal information? Divorce is tough enough without dealing with intrusions on your privacy.
If you are considering a divorce, contact us to discuss how we can help you achieve a positive outcome in your case.