The following is a guest post by Jennifer Beckman of Beckman, Steen & Lungstron P.A.
How secure is your personal smartphone, computer or other electronic devices? Do you have any information on them—things such as text, contacts, personal e-mails, financial information, social media and web browsing history—that you would be comfortable sharing with your spouse as your marriage winds down?
Unless you’re an anti-technology Luddite or have spent the last 10 years living in a bunker, there’s a good chance you’ve been living a digital double-life—one in which you have stored vast amounts of very sensitive, very personal information on a myriad of electronic devices, above and beyond any public electronic trail you may have left on social media or elsewhere.
All of this information is discoverable and all of it can be used against you by your spouse in the event of a divorce.
However, you can control what they can and cannot access. The first step is to make sure that all of your digital devices—every computer, smartphone, tablet, or other device—is protected against access by anyone other than yourself. The easiest way to do this is to set a strong device password that is hard to crack and known by only you.
Once you have secured your devices, you need to also look at tightening your security for every application, web site and social media service that you use. Fail to do this and your soon-to-be ex-spouse could access your banking app or log into your Facebook account.
It is equally important that you not defeat your own security measures by writing down your passwords. In addition, you should never, under any circumstances, share any password to any device or account that you access with anyone.
If you have an Apple device such as an iPad or iPhone, protect the device by setting up Touch ID so that you can only unlock the device with your unique fingerprints. You should also make sure that no fingerprints other than your own are registered to unlock the device. It is not unheard of for a spouse to take advantage of a poorly secured device and register their fingerprints. If this happens, you have a false sense of security and believe only you can access the device while your spouse also has access to all of your secrets on your device.