The standard issues involved with a divorce or separation are most often very difficult. In the past decade I have seen these difficult situations made even more difficult because of technology. Text messages, emails, smartphones, and other technology are relevant in many of the cases we see.
As computer forensics consultants, we are asked to check computers for keylogging software or spyware, check devices and accounts for tracking, collect text messages for legal proceedings, and sweep houses and cars for eavesdropping devices. In this article for the American Bar Association Family Advocate, Summer 2021, I highlight some of the more common issues we are asked to deal with for legal counsel as it relates to technology and the issues it can cause during a divorce.
The article discusses:
- Electronic Monitoring
- Email Forwarding
- Passwords and Two-Factor Authentication
- Shared Accounts
- Other Devices
- GPS Tracking
- General Prevention Recommendations
There is no way to address all of the scenarios that I have encountered during my years in law enforcement and as a computer forensics consultant. When we first meet a client, we have them tell us the circumstances surrounding their situation and what particular concerns they have. Some are just worried about their email, some about their phones, and some about all of the above. We do our best to research all of their devices and accounts to verify that they are secure.
The most productive measure that can be taken to prevent frustration, anxiety, and unwanted, unnecessary, and unproductive accusations is to identify your digital footprint. Identify what information you feel is confidential during this difficult time and secure it. Change passwords and even create a new email account if necessary.
Our goal is to help provide the client with information and knowledge so that they can take control of their environment and lessen the anxiety during these times.
You can read the entire article by Rusty Gilmore here: American Bar Association Family Advocate, Summer 2021