Time for a Digital Lockdown


Smart devices and social media are integral parts of our lives. But they can cause problems if you’re getting a divorce or preparing for one. The biggest issues are making damaging statements on social media and losing your privacy on your smartphone, laptop, or computer. It may be best to put your hands up and step away from your smartphone.  

Your Spouse the Casual Snooper 

Your smartphone may be how you make phone calls and view and send emails and texts related to your divorce. If you’re still living together, your spouse may look through your smartphone to see who you’re calling and who’s calling you. Your spouse may also read your texts and emails.  

You should make your devices as secure as possible. Change the password on your phone, shut off notifications, and delete unnecessary apps. Cancel accounts you own jointly, like Netflix or Apple. 

All remaining accounts and apps should have two-step authentication. If someone tries to access the account or change a password, you should get an email or text confirming that you’re the one taking the action. If you weren’t, don’t permit the change to happen. 

You should also go “old school” to protect your privacy by getting a post office box. If someone mails something divorce-related to you, your spouse won’t have access to it. 

Spyware and What You Can Do About It 

Changing passwords will make devices hard to use if your spouse is physically looking at your device when the opportunity arises. But if your spouse is knowledgeable and under-handed enough, your spouse may install illegal spyware, which may render your security efforts useless. 

Spyware is hidden software that secretly records information and tracks your activities. It may monitor and copy everything you enter, store, upload, and download. It also may be sophisticated enough to track your location and, without you being aware, turn on a device’s camera and microphone so your spouse can spy on you in real-time. 

Instead of trying to find and delete spyware, you could use your devices for everything other than divorce-related matters but buy a “burner” phone or laptop. You pre-pay for time using a “burner” phone, then dispose of it when you’re done. If possible, keep it secret, locked away when you’re not using it, and password protected. You could do the same with an inexpensive Chromebook which you can use for emails and internet research. 

Social Media is Not Your Friend 

You need support from friends and family to get through a divorce. Just don’t use social media to discuss it with them. Talk on the phone or in person. Anything you post on social media could be evidence that may be used against you. Complain about your spouse and the divorce process all you want, but not in a way that could damage your case.  

If you’re disciplined enough, maintain your accounts and post about things unrelated to your spouse and divorce. If you’re someone who blows off steam online, stop using social media to avoid the temptation. 

Get the Help You Need From a Lawyer You Can Trust 

If you want help with preparing for a divorce, have questions about the process, or need legal representation, use our online calendar to schedule a free consultation or call us at (215) 752-6200.