Written By: Lisa Fantone

A contested family law matter brings about certain IT security risks that may not seem obvious now, but may present grave problems in the future if they are overlooked. As family law attorneys, our job is to alert our clients – and potential clients – to these risks. Consider the following suggestions:

· Secure all computers and mobile devices with new, unique passwords that are not in any way predictable by the other party. Change all online passwords for financial institutions, social media accounts, as well as sites like Amazon and all other retail sites. Using initials, birthdates, pet names, etc., may make passwords easy to remember, but it also makes them easy to be guessed.

· Call your main financial institutions, phone companies, and cable, gas, electricity, and other utility companies to set up separate authorization methods and security logins for each spouse.

· Remove all software and settings that memorize usernames and passwords. This makes life a little tougher, but in the long run, it can save a lot of trouble.

· Run antivirus and malware scans often to detect any threats that might be monitoring a device’s activity.

· If you are separated from your spouse, do not permit him or her to use your devices. If you find that your spouse has accessed your phone, scan it for installed viruses and/or malware.

· NEVER install wiretaps, monitors or malware onto your spouse’s phone. NEVER log in on, change passwords for or otherwise engage in unauthorized use of the electronic devices or financial or retail accounts for your spouse or the other party.

Caution upfront and vigilance as the case progresses are the best bet for protection for yourself, your identity and your assets.