These days our homes are extensively reliant upon technology. We can turn the lights on and off, lock or unlock the front door, turn the tv on or off, and order all types of things just by the sound of our voice. We rely heavily upon surveillance for our safety, installing cameras within our home to protect our space and to care for our children and pets. It is common to have Alexa for our convenience, a Ring doorbell to protect us, and readily streaming shows from our smart televisions. While all of these modern technologies are extremely convenient, they can also be used against us.
What happens when you are going through a separation, and both parties have control over the technology in the home? What happens when it is a litigious divorce, perhaps with issues of domestic violence? Is your privacy protected, are you safe in the home?
Fortunately, knowing the facts will help prepare and protect you from any violations of privacy during your dissolution case.
How Safe Is Our Technology?
Did you know that if your ex knows the WIFI password, they can easily access all of the devices in your home, even remotely? They can control your television, lights, garage, and anything else that is connected wirelessly. It is a good idea to change your WIFI password once an ex moves out. This will ensure that you are the only one who has access to the important things that control your home. Be sure to pick a password that includes capitalized letters, numbers, and characters, and most importantly, is not one that your ex can guess.
Did you know that even knowing the login for the accounts that control your home devices can give your ex access to disconnect from the WIFI or to change it? For example, Alexa has a login, so does the Nest. Changing these logins once your ex moves out will not only prevent them from tampering with the settings, but will continue to make you feel safe and protected giving only you access.
Did you know that you can seek the court’s help in obtaining orders that prevent your ex from accessing the smart devices in your home? You can also seek information through discovery requests. If a case becomes extremely contentious and you are being harassed through the smart devices in your home, you can seek orders from the court preventing this type of harassment.
Did you know that storing your pictures on the “cloud” or other internet-based device gives your ex access to your videos and pictures? We often forget that our pictures and videos may be private, unless we have given access to our ex. Generally, spouses share an account for internet storage. This means both parties have access. It is crucial to change the login for your internet storage account, especially when there are contentious issues regarding child custody and visitation.
Did you know that you can be tracked via your phone? This is often an issue in cases with restraining orders, or issues of domestic violence. Certain apps installed onto your phone can help others track you. This could be a beneficial application when helping track your children or loved ones to ensure their safety. But it can also be used to stalk and harass. Be sure to check your phone for any applications that could track your location.
Did you know that video games can also be used to communicate with you in a way that is subtle and difficult to monitor? This is crucial for cases with domestic violence and harassment issues.
Lastly, did you know that your online streaming accounts can also provide various insights into your daily routines? You should change your passwords on accounts like Netflix, Amazon and Spectrum to ensure that only you have access.
How Can I Protect Myself Against Invasion During Divorce?
There are many things you can do to help mitigate and avoid potentially big issues in court. These small steps also help protect your safety and your mental well-being. Make sure you have taken these small steps for your peace of mind.