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Keeping Personal Data Secure in the Midst of a Breakup

October is National Cyber Security Awareness Month and you’ve probably read a lot about it – at work and online, there are many resources preaching best practices designed to minimize risk when it comes to the Internet, hacker and others phishing for your personal information. When it comes to managing cyber risk, it’s important to take stock in all potential threats – sometimes the ones we least expect can do the most harm.

If you’ve been involved in a breakup – a divorce or the end of a long term relationship, chances are good that the person that you’ve recently separated from was closest to the most intimate details of your life. A mother’s maiden name perhaps, the name of your first pet – you can see where I’m going with this. First and foremost, take a close look at your passwords. Often times, passwords were set up quite a while ago – for bank accounts, money management, online shopping, etc.

Although it’s difficult to think of past loved ones stealing from you, it might not be as straightforward as this. Many websites store your personal financial information: one-click shopping, pay with PayPal, and others. These lines can become blurred when people have accounts set up on their devices that they take with them. Change your passwords and security questions on all of your online accounts. Taking this one step will protect you from uncomfortable discussions about recouping money spent after the fact.

Consider using a password manager. There are many options out there that will automatically generate passwords for you that don’t depend on special dates, names and otherwise that people could guess if they wanted to cause confusion or harm to your financial picture.

Concerned about your personal safety? If you’ve been involved in a breakup where a child custody agreement or a restraining order is in place, it’s important to know that many of the apps stored on devices automatically tag your whereabouts and create a digital footprint of your routine or locations. Review each app that you have on your devices and choose which ones are capable of accessing your location. Tweens and teens document their days to the minute at times. If your ex is following your child’s social media accounts and your child has their locations tagged on photos they post – your ex will now know where your child lives, who their friends are and where they hang out.

There are many resources online to help maneuver the Internet, and become knowledgeable about potential threats associated with being online. October is National Cyber Security Awareness Month. Take a few minutes to tighten up your personal security online and it might save you aggravation and money that results in someone taking advantage of your trust.

If you are considering ending a relationship, contact us to discuss the specifics of your personal situation.