Technology can quickly turn from your best friend to your worst enemy while divorcing with the help of your soon-to-be ex-spouse. This isn't to say that all spouses are snoopers, but many will use technology to tap into your personal life and invade your privacy extensively even after separation. It's important to have your guard up for foul play because it's quite easy to fall victim to the following sneaky tactics:
We have seen cases of divorcees installing spyware on their spouse's computer. Simply put, spyware is software that can track your every keystroke. It opens a window into new passwords, even if you have changed them. Luckily, there are downloads that can detect spyware and remove it securely, and hints that the spyware is on your computer. Look out for new toolbars that you didn't add to your browser, and your home page or search program may change unexpectedly. Another red flag is noticeable slowness and constant pop-ups, even when you're without Internet connection.
Logging in to password protected areas
If your ex-spouse decides to take a turn for the worst, they will try to snoop around the websites you frequent. They could meddle with your Facebook account by engaging in conversations pretending to be you, tap into your frequent flyer program to track your recent movements or even hack into your bank accounts to access your spending habits or find out who you've hired as your divorce attorney. There are limitless portals of personal information, so change all of your passwords just to be safe.
Running up joint credit cards
Another common activity we see from ex-spouses is intentional shopping sprees and paying bills with the joint credit card to run up the balance, leaving you jointly accountable for the hefty bill. If you have joint access to a potentially destructive piece of plastic, make sure that you frequently check the statement to avoid any unpleasant surprises, or take matters into your own hands and close it down completely.
Personal GPS Trackers
The last but potentially worst invasion of privacy we see is, though illegal in many states, the use of personal GPS trackers. Used to monitor someone's every move, GPS trackers are typically small in size and can be planted easily into a backpack or purse. They are ideal for the typical snooping divorcee that wants to track where their ex-spouse is going and when.
Whether you're crossing the New Jersey Turnpike or cruising down the Long Island Expressway, your EZ Pass unfortunately leaves a digital trail that your ex-spouse may take advantage of. Viewing an individual's EZ Pass history is simple with access to his or her online account, which offers a look into your usage in terms of crossing EZ Pass checkpoints, which your ex-spouse may use to track your movement.
This post was co-authored with Rachel Reda.
Follow Brendan Lyle on Twitter: www.twitter.com/@BBLChurchill