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Protecting Your Electronic Communications from Your Spouse

 Posted on July 03, 2018 in Divorce

Protecting Your Electronic Communications from Your SpouseSome people going through a divorce resort to eavesdropping on their spouses in hopes of obtaining sensitive information that can be used in the case. With the proliferation of electronic communications, there are several ways to surreptitiously track someone’s correspondences and online history. Illinois law states that evidence obtained through eavesdropping is inadmissible in court in most cases. However, you do not want your former spouse to be able to monitor your electronic devices, even if you have nothing to hide. Electronic monitoring can be a way of embarrassing or asserting control over a former spouse. Cybersecurity has become an essential part of protecting your privacy during your divorce.

Uncoupling Yourself

It is common for spouses to have shared online accounts, including:

  • Email;
  • Cloud drives for personal files;
  • Financial accounts;
  • Social media; and
  • Accounts for various utilities and services.

In many cases, you need to create a separate online account that is in your name only and that only you have access to. Make sure that your individual accounts do not use a shared email as a contact. The connectivity of devices can also cause problems. Your computer, phone, and tablet may be set up to share information amongst each other, as well as with devices that your spouse owns. You will need to check your settings to turn off this sharing function.

Changing Passwords

You should update the passwords for any accounts that you keep from when you were married. You may have shared the passwords to your individual accounts with your spouse in case he or she needed to access it in an emergency. For added security, your new passwords should be random and include a mix of letters, numbers, and other characters. Though the chance is small, your spouse may be able to guess a password that has personal significance to you. Finally, the first password you change should be for your personal email. Many of your other accounts will send notification of your updated password to your email.


Your spouse may be proactive in his or her attempts to eavesdrop on your electronic communications by installing spyware onto your devices. With the software, your spouse could monitor your incoming and outgoing message, photos, and web activity. Your spouse may only need minutes alone with your device in order to install the software. He or she can also send you an email that surreptitiously installs the software once you open it or an attachment.

Safety First

It can be a criminal offense to eavesdrop on private communications without someone’s consent. Most spouses will not actively try to eavesdrop on each other, but you should tighten your cybersecurity to guard against the possibility. A DuPage County divorce attorney at Calabrese Associates, P.C., can advise you on how to protect your private information during your divorce. To schedule a consultation, call 630-393-3111.


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