Divorce Cybersecurity: How to Protect Your Accounts After a Relationship Ends

Uncontested Divorce Mediation

Posted January 18, 2023

Separating two lives is always a complex process. Separating finances, households, property, and mutual relationships is enough to fully occupy anyone’s attention. But while you’re working on the logistics, keep an eye on your cybersecurity. Not all marriages end in mutual respect, and couples sharing a household also often share passwords and other security details.

Now is the time to change everything. Even if you parted on mutual terms, even if your ex would normally never do something harmful to you – Denver divorce mediation is a difficult time, and sabotaging someone digitally is often the most tempting when more drastic actions are ruled out. From social media pranking to revenge spending, it’s always better to prevent a potential disaster before regrettable actions can be taken.

As Denver divorce attorneys, we know that digitally separating from a spouse can be as difficult as financially separating. Let’s talk divorce cybersecurity. In truth, these tips can and should be applied to all household break-ups, whether it’s parting roommates, partners, friends, or ex-spouses.

Make a List of All Accounts Your Ex Your Password To

Your spouse likely knows your primary password, and perhaps a few secondaries if they have a knack. If you have ever shared devices or web browsers, they likely have your passwords saved alongside a list of your most frequented accounts and services. Move forward based on this assumption.

You will want to change your password everywhere. Make a list of all your accounts. Use your own browser and device history, password manager files, and card statements to make sure the list is complete. Then systematically change the password to a brand new password for each.

This simple choice is a non-confrontational and effective way to secure your accounts, identity, and personal finances.

Change Your Email & Social Passwords

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Take steps to prevent digital impersonation. This is uniquely easy for spouses and long-term partners to accomplish because they have likely spoken on your behalf and even answered messages for you. Quite often, the one bitter move in an otherwise functional divorce will be digital sabotage. Divorcing exes, even reasonable people, have been known to go through an emotional crisis and log into their exes accounts to delete files, post embarrassing content, jeopardize a job, or sabotage a shared project.

The best way to prevent your ex having the opportunity to impersonate you is to cut off access to your personal accounts. Change your email password -on all your email accounts. Then change every social media account password, including your favorite forums and discords.

Change Your Bank Account Password and PIN

Protect your finances by changing the password with your bank and with every credit card, loan, line of credit, and even shopping accounts with saved payment information. Don’t forget to change your PIN. You may also want to change any known secondary security details – like security questions your ex would know – in the process. 

Change Your Media Streaming Passwords

By far, one of the most popular “petty revenge” stunts in an otherwise low-conflict divorce is media sabotage. Cutting someone off from Netflix near a season finale or ruining their Spotify playlists can – at the wrong moment – seem like a small action to take in comparison to the wild thought that can occur during the emotions of Denver divorce mediation. You can prevent both the temptation and any potential aftermath simply by protecting your accounts preemptively.

Change the password on your personal media accounts and any that you primarily pay. For shared accounts that you don’t actually want to cut off, you might set up two-factor to your now fully-private email or phone so that your ex can’t change it on you in a moment of negativity.

Change Your Phone Unlock

Whether or not it’s in your ex’s nature, there are millions of divorces, now, that involve spying on a spouse or ex’s phone. Minimize this risk by increasing your personal device security. Change the lock screen password, pin, or puzzle on your phone so that your ex can’t easily swipe in. Then reduce the detail of alerts on your lock screen so that your private matters can more easily remain private.

Next, update the security unlock for any tablets, laptops, and so on. If you have children, help them add security to their devices as well, but do not use your personal passcode.

Disable Their Devices on Your Accounts

Next, look for enabled devices. Many subscriptions and services ranging from Alexa to Spotify have connected and enabled devices that are authorized to take control, with or without being on the same wifi network or within bluetooth range.

Prevent mischieve of all kinds by removing your ex’s personal devices from your personal accounts and accounts related to a household they are no longer in. For example, you might leave your ex’s phone enabled to your children’s music account, but not to the family smart home. This may also apply to creative and production software, home security apps, and even  your car’s built-in computer.

Joint Accounts: Remove Yourself or Your Ex

When it comes to joint accounts that are truly mutual and not to be destroyed, consider which spouse will leave with access. For example, you might remove yourself from the rental lease when you get your own place. Or you might remove them as a secondary user on your gaming , Amazon, or grocery delivery accounts.

Cancel family accounts in favor of the primary user, or negotiate with your ex about who takes the account history and who starts their own account fresh. In some cases, they may abdicate accounts or you may both choose to start fresh.

Check and Purge All Secondary Users

Finally, survey all your accounts for your ex (and anyone else from your past) as a secondary user. Credit cards often have a second authorized user, and an increasing number of accounts now acknowledge the unique digital entity that is a household. Check into the account information on all of your digitally accessed services. Check for authorized email addresses, old phone numbers, old addresses, and authorized devices that shouldn’t be there. This is a good time for a clean sweep of your account information for your post-divorce life and smart digital protection during the tumultuous Denver divorce mediation process.

A Safe and Practical Divorce in Denver with Split Simple

Going through a divorce is hard enough without dealing with digital drama as well. You can side-step the entire risk simply by changing all of your passwords, access codes, device authorizations, and secondary users early in the Denver divorce mediation process. To talk over your divorce with a practical divorce mediator who understands modern challenges, contact us today. Split Simple is dedicated to helping each divorce achieve the best practical solution so that both exes can move forward into a fully independent new chapter. Whether that’s averting known risks or easily breaking down complex finances, we’re here to make your divorce as effective and painless as possible.

Contact Split Simple today to consult on the next steps for Denver divorce mediation.

Split Simple

1624 Market Street #202

Denver, CO 80202