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How to prevent digital spying during your divorce

These days, it's easy to spy on someone if you know how. Usually, this technology is used for good -- or at least convenience. You can track your kids via smartphone apps and keep an eye on your pets while you're at work via in-home cameras. You can find out who's at your front door when you're away. You can adjust the thermostat remotely to make sure your home is cool when you return on a scorching summer day.

However, when people divorce, technology can be turned against them by a spouse who's looking to get "dirt" on them, wants to maintain control or simply can't let go of the relationship. If you still own property together or your spouse has access to any of your electronics (or even your kids' electronics), the opportunities for spying can be endless.

You can minimize the chances of becoming a victim of your spouse's digital spying and other shenanigans. You may want to consult a tech professional to help ensure that no one has installed spyware or other digital surveillance on your devices. If you have synced any of your devices to your children's, you may want to have them unsynced. A tech professional can also help you ensure that you have the highest privacy settings and that your location can't be tracked.

If you're confident that your spouse hasn't resorted to anything this invasive, there are things you can do on your own to help maintain your privacy as you go through the divorce.

  • Create an email account that you use solely to communicate with your attorney and for other divorce-related and private communications. Use a log-in name and password you haven't used for any other accounts.
  • If you have an Alexa, Echo, Google Home or other "smart home" device, you might want to consider turning that off.
  • If you're on social media, you may want to stay off it for a time. At least refrain from posting personal photos and information that can be used against you -- and from showing up in other people's photos.

Don't throw out any devices or delete data before you've talked to your attorney. It's best to discuss any concerns you have about the potential for digital spying so that they can advise you of the best course of action.

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