Forward Thinking Family Law Since 1994

Protecting Your Computer Privacy

When you see your marriage is in trouble, there are so many things to consider and worry about; impact on the children, where will you live, financial concerns.  You are probably talking to friends, attorneys, counselors and relatives to get help in figuring it all out.  These discussions usually occur on your phone and your email.  If you share a computer with your spouse, he/she can log on and read what you are saying about them.

Now is an excellent time to change email accounts and set up a password protection system.  If you have a password, change it to something that your spouse is unlikely to guess.  Use a combination of upper case and lower case letters, numbers and punctuation marks.  If you have high speed cable, you can probably open multiple accounts through your cable provider, each with a separate password, at no additional cost.  Gmail and hotmail accounts are available at no cost to the consumer.

If you are married to a true computer hacker, consider purchasing a low priced computer for your own use.  Make it a net book or laptop that you can carry with you.  If you separate, one of you will need a new one in the future.  There are cases where spouses install spyware on the family computer that allows them to monitor your emails from a remote computer. If you suspect that your spouse is that devious, consider having your computer checked for such software by an IT professional.

Using your work computer to receive emails can be problematic since the emails belong to your employer.  The system belongs to the employer.  Your employer can legally read your emails.  Many companies have policies against using their computers for personal communications.  Using the work computer can result in disciplinary action being taken against you.

If you are working with an attorney and/or counselor, your communications with that person are confidential under Michigan law.  The last thing you want is having your spouse or your employer reading the conversations with your attorney or your therapist.

Consider the best ways to protect your family and your privacy during this difficult time.  Your attorney can help you think through your situation and develop a plan.