With the many emotional things people deal with when going through divorce, sometimes the most simple, obvious, and critical steps people should immediately take to protect their privacy, finances, and future get overlooked. Those steps are with regard to data and personal information, and sometimes just a few clicks can prevent serious damage to your future.
A study by McAfee revealed that 96% of U.S. adults share their personal data—including passwords, intimate photos, and other personal content—with their significant other. Because of this, a spouse can sometimes wield significant power over your future during a divorce. Here are some steps you can take to protect yourself during an emotional time:
Protect your rep. Of the 96% of U.S. adults that shared their personal data with their loved ones, only 32% of them asked their ex to delete their private information when they ended the relationship. Private information can include embarrassing personal texts, photos, and email exchanges. One way to protect your reputation is to work with your ex to mutually agree to delete private information. Another way is to change your passwords on all your social media and email accounts. It’s also a good practice to resist the urge to send or post angry or provocative things to or about your ex that could be damaging to you in divorce proceedings.
Protect your money. If your ex knows your common passwords, PINS, or answers to security questions, its best to change all of those on your financial accounts. Even more important than that, though, is close any banking accounts and open personal ones with new unique passwords and security answers.
Protect your credit. Likewise, closing all joint credit card accounts and opening personal ones can prevent a great deal of potential damage to your personal credit from a scorned ex. Further, if your name is on a title to a car or home, make sure to work with a professional to get those changed. By checking your credit report, you can view all the accounts you may need to close or change, even the long inactive ones you may have forgotten about.
Protect your future. You can protect your future by seeking the advice of a qualified financial planner and divorce attorney who can review with you a checklist for securing your personal data and financial future.