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Why (and how) you should protect your digital data during divorce

Spouses often share just about everything. This sharing can make things easier during the marriage, but it can cause complications when two people divorce.

This can be especially true when it comes to digital sharing. In fact, sharing digital data (including email passwords, social media accounts, cloud storage and even music) and access with your partner could actually work against you during a divorce

Why you need to protect your data

We put a lot of information online -- even if we don't mean to. We might disclose things like our relationship status, location, purchasing habits, parenting behaviors and even tax bracket. And during a divorce, people might also discuss legal strategies or confidential information through mediums like emails.

Exes with access to email, social media accounts, calendars and bank accounts can glean an incredible amount of information which they can use to their advantage during legal proceedings. This is why it is so important to protect your data.

Basic steps to protect yourself

To prevent an ex from getting this type of access, you should take a few simple steps.

  1. Change all your passwords to accounts including email, social media, music sharing apps, cloud storage, bank accounts and digital payment services, like Venmo. You should also change (or put) passcodes on your personal devices.
  2. Unsync your devices. As this CNBC article notes, people often sync their phones to their tablets and computers; they might also upload information to cloud storage they share with an ex. To prevent an ex from seeing photos, appointments and other sensitive information, make sure you stop syncing your accounts and devices.
  3. Adjust your privacy settings. This can be especially important with social media accounts. Look at these accounts and see what others can access, then adjust your settings to prevent an ex from seeing what you don't want him or her to see. You might make public profiles private, unfriend your ex and former in-laws and change your user names.

Taking these steps can ensure you do not share sensitive information with an ex during (or after) your divorce, which can be crucial to protecting your case and your future.

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