Cyberstalking And Protecting Your Privacy During Divorce
One of the most difficult side effects of modern technology, specifically mobile phones and social media, has been the rise of cyberstalking. Cyberstalking is when one or more people engage in harassing an individual or individuals via the use of digital technology. This typically occurs via email, social media, text messages, and online comments or forum posts. Unfortunately, cyberstalking is becoming increasingly common during divorce cases.
Is Your Ex-Spouse Cyberstalking You?
There are a few different levels of cyberstalking, and it’s possible that your ex-spouse could be monitoring you online without your knowledge. This means your ex may be reading your Facebook posts, Instagram feed, or Twitter messages without you knowing about it.
It’s quite common nowadays for you ex-spouse and/or their attorneys and even private investigators to monitor your social media activity during a divorce. The reason they do that in most cases is to look for evidence that can be used against you. Attorneys and investigators are looking specifically for things like:
- Evidence of child abuse
- Exposure of hidden assets
- Misrepresentation of income
If you inadvertently expose evidence via social media that can be used against you in your divorce, there’s no way to take it back.
Cyberstalking can also be more aggressive. If you ex begins leaving hostile or threatening comments on your social media posts, or sends them to you directly via email or text message, you should alert your attorney immediately.
If the situation continues to escalate, you may need to get a temporary restraining order against your ex. It’s a good idea to save and/or preserve any hostile or threatening messages you receive from your ex as evidence to present to a judge. In extreme cases, cyberstalking can be charged as a form of criminal domestic violence.
Protecting Your Privacy During Divorce
There are two basic steps that you can take to protect your privacy during your divorce. The first step is to immediately change all the passwords to your social media accounts, bank accounts, and any other websites with sensitive information.
Changing your passwords helps prevent your ex from logging into your accounts to do any number of malicious things.
The second step you can take is to dramatically limit or cease entirely to use social media during your divorce. At the very least, you should be extra careful about what you post online. Be aware that your ex and his or her legal team will likely be monitoring anything you post to collect evidence against you.
If communication between you and your ex-spouse is contentious, it’s best to avoid sending them emails, texts, or comments on social media. It’s very easy for digital communication to be taken out of context and used against either party.
Keep Your Attorney Informed
Even if it seems trivial, it’s a good idea to always keep your divorce attorney in the loop whenever you receive messages or comments from your ex. What may seem inconsequential to you may prove to be useful in the broader scope of your divorce case.
Your attorney is also one of the people who can immediately help you if your ex’s cyberstalking activity becomes hostile or threatening. Don’t be afraid to share information with your attorney, even if it seems embarrassing or unflattering.
To learn more, or to get help with your divorce case, please contact our office today.
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