Getting a divorce? Have you changed all of your passwords?

On Behalf of | Nov 26, 2018 | Family Law |

It may be hard to believe that someone you have lived with for years could become malicious after a breakup. We hope your ex remains reasonable and your divorce is as amicable as possible, but the stress and pressure of divorce can bring out the worst in people. If you think your ex might be looking to cause you trouble or embarrassment, one thing you should consider is changing all of your passwords.

These days, that could mean a lot of passwords. It definitely includes your online banking passwords and credit card PINs, along with the ones for all your social media accounts. Don’t forget your smartphone and/or iPad. It includes any online site where you are authorized to purchase something, whether that means Amazon, Netflix or Domino’s. In the modern world, it could also mean changing passwords for your modem, router, digital assistant and a host of smart devices.

Technology can, unfortunately, be used to facilitate stalking and harassment, and smart device companies haven’t always put security first. According to Slate, one woman found out that she could still access her old car’s Car-Net telematics system months after she sold the car. In another case, a homeowner learned that his neighbor was able to pick his August Home lock by asking Siri to unlock the front door. (Siri and Alexa have now been updated not to allow this.)

The Ring doorbell camera was found to have a serious vulnerability, according to The Information. A Miami man’s ex had been logged in to the camera at the time of the breakup. Even though the man changed his Ring password, his ex remained logged in. This security flaw meant that the whole camera needed to be removed to log out the ex, who was using it to comment on the man’s lifestyle. (It is unclear whether this flaw remains.)

Think of all the devices you own that have smart features. It could be your lights, your locks, your doorbell, your TV, your refrigerator, your car and many more systems. In the wrong hands, any of these could be used to harass or intimidate you. Think of all the passwords you have and the damage your ex could cause, if so inclined.

Take active steps to limit the potential damage. Make changing your passwords a priority. And, if you feel you may be at risk for stalking, harassment or abuse, be sure to tell your attorney. It may be possible to obtain a restraining order.

Disclaimer: The information in this blog post (“post”) is provided for general informational purposes only, and may not reflect the current law in your jurisdiction. No information contained in this post should be construed as legal advice from Sheehan, Barnett, Dean, Pennington, Dexter & Tucker, P.S.C. or the individual author, nor is it intended to be a substitute for legal counsel on any subject matter. No reader of this post should act or refrain from acting on the basis of any information included in, or accessible through, this Post without seeking the appropriate legal or other professional advice on the particular facts and circumstances at issue from a lawyer licensed in the recipient’s state, country or other appropriate licensing jurisdiction.