My computer is a mess. And I feel like I am being watched through my laptop. I am involved in a divorce. The family used my computer before my husband moved out. Now I have the laptop, and I am using the computer to communicate with my attorney. My attorney has my email address and sends legal documents through the computer. Is my ex-husband able to see these legal documents? Can I be stalked through my laptop?
Probably not a month goes by in my law practice that I don’t have a forensic expert find the estranged spouse has infiltrated a client’s computer. This is a most common problem. There are several solutions:
First, and probably the cheapest solution, is to get a new laptop for communications with your attorney and for banking. Change your password monthly. Do not let anyone else use this laptop. Keep it locked up if you are not around. Also, get a new email address. He could have your old email and password and be logging in as you. I mention banking because you do not want your ex moving money out of your accounts. Get a new cloud account for backup of your computer.
Second, a digital forensic investigator can analyze your laptop and your phone to see if there are inappropriate IP address accesses. The list of remote access programs and email blast programs that can run in the background of your computer is quite long. For example, one program forwards all your emails to another email, and this can run in the background of the computer. You’ll never know unless you analyze the computer to determine if this program has been implanted.
Third, please check to see if your computer data is being backed up to a cloud account that is also used by your ex.
Cybercrime and cybersecurity are quickly changing. You have to protect your phone and your computer, particularly if you are in divorce litigation.
Send your questions on family law and divorce matters to “Ask Carolyn…” at firstname.lastname@example.org, or P.O. Box 9023, Greensboro, NC 27427. Please do not put identifying information in your questions. Note that the answers in “Ask Carolyn” are intended to provide general legal information, and the answers are not specific legal advice for your situation. The column also uses hypothetical questions. A subtle fact in your unique case may determine the legal advice you need in your individual case. Also, please note that you are not creating an attorney-client relationship with Carolyn J. Woodruff by writing or having your question answered by “Ask Carolyn…” “Ask Carolyn…” will be a regular column, but not necessarily weekly.