With the availability of social media, location tracking and other technology at our fingertips, protecting your privacy can become more and more difficult. These technologies make it easier to stay in contact with friends and family, but it has also created a new problem — cyberstalking. Cyberstalking is the act of harassing someone through the use of technology, over email, through social media, or other digital outlets. Cyberstalking is an especially dangerous issue when it comes to divorce cases.
If you feel that your spouse may be cyberstalking you, or that you may be guilty of cyberstalking, be sure you know how this may affect your divorce.
What is cyberstalking?
Cyberstalking is a form of cyberbullying. It includes online spying by scrolling through social media accounts and trying to gather information about another person based on their online presence. While it may seem harmless, cyberstalking can be extremely threatening and stressful to the victim. Cyberstalkers may leave hostile messages and comments, or even create fake accounts to bully their victim anonymously.
If you find yourself compulsively checking your spouse’s online profiles, even if your intent may be innocent, you could be guilty of cyberstalking. Many cyberstalkers try to find out what their spouse has been doing since a recent separation or divorce. They might look for information about who their ex-spouse is dating, how they’re spending their money or what they’re doing with the children.
When does it cross the line?
Technology can be a useful resource in a divorce case. You may be able to use social media to discover public information about your spouse that can help your case (such as discovering he or she is spending excessive amounts of money on lavish vacations after claiming no assets, or he or she is violating a temporary order like a parenting plan).
However, when you or your spouse begins to use the information they have found to harass or intimidate the other spouse, it becomes cyberstalking. Cyberstalking is illegal in several states and can be considered a form of domestic violence.
How to Protect Your Privacy
You should always be careful about what you share online, but this is especially true during a divorce. Your spouse may use any public information against you in court. It may be best to take a break from social media during the divorce proceedings. Avoid mentioning anything about your divorce, your spouse, your children, finances or any romantic interests. Change your passwords for all of your accounts and make sure not to engage in any arguments with your spouse over social media, email or text. Ask your divorce attorney about the best ways to communicate with your spouse during your divorce.
For more information about protecting yourself and your privacy during your divorce, contact Murfreesboro Family Law today.