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What Precautions Should I Take with Technology During a Divorce?

Posted on November 2, 2020 by Chris Kirker

Technology is a routine part of most Americans’ lives. Nearly everyone is connected to the outside world through cell phones, computers, smart TVs, etc. While technological developments have brought many positive changes to our world, they have also brought new dangers. Especially during a divorce, it can be important for couples to consider the risks that technology can pose and take steps to protect themselves. Below are a few suggestions that divorcing couples may want to consider to reduce the risks associated with technology.

First, consider making all accounts separate and private. This includes social media accounts, emails, phone plans, Apple/Google IDs, Netflix subscriptions, and many others. Couples often share these types of accounts when they are married, but it may be helpful to separate the accounts and make each of them private when going through a divorce. Sometimes this might require creating an entirely new account, like a new social media profile or phone plan. This can help keep personal information from leaking out to an unintended party. For example, a private email account can keep a soon-to-be-ex from seeing confidential communications between their spouse and their spouse’s divorce lawyer. 

Second, consider activating a factory reset for all shared devices (tablets, laptops). These devices will often save data and passwords internally, and that information can be accessed by anyone who can get onto the device. A factory reset will restore the device to its factory settings and erase that information, keeping it from outside parties. 

Third, consider turning off location-sharing services on personal devices. Apps like Find My on Apple products can track a device’s location in real time, and platforms like Instagram allow users to upload a geotag (an address) with their photos. Couples may want to uninstall tracking apps and turn off geotagging when they go through a divorce. This can help maintain privacy and prevent their spouse from keeping tabs on them.

Finally, consider limiting social media posts and text messages during the divorce. Judges will often look to these things for information about the divorcing spouses, and they can play a big role in child-custody cases. While couples shouldn’t delete anything that they have already posted or sent, they should be careful to only upload new content that they would be comfortable explaining to a judge.
If you are curious about how technology can affect your divorce and would like more information, please contact Kirker|Davis today.

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