Whether currently you’re going through a divorce or recently finalized yours, all your accounts could be in danger. While it’s still likely okay to share your Netflix account, you must lock down all your other ones to keep them safe from any strife that could arise. Even if things are currently amicable, the situation can change fast, leaving you with a huge mess to clean up. So, move through these steps now to save yourself a lot of trouble in the future.
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Separate All Joint Accounts

As you divvy up your assets, it’ll become quite clear what belongs to you and to your spouse. During that process, you’ll likely have a chance to separate all your financial accounts. While working with your legal team, you’ll want to close all your joint accounts, divide the assets as instructed, and open up individual accounts instead. As you do that, always abide by the terms of the mediation agreement or court ruling to avoid getting into hot water.


Update Your Passwords

All your individual accounts need attention, too, to keep them safe from your ex-spouse if anything goes awry. You’ll need to change their passwords one by one to keep them out of the wrong hands. Otherwise, your ex-spouse could log in and change the password, locking you out of your own accounts.

Before you start changing passwords, make a list of all the accounts you may have ever created, such as:

  • Credit cards
  • Investment
  • Retirement
  • Education
  • Email

Don’t overlook your music apps, gaming platforms, and other entertainment accounts either.


Once you have your list made, go through all of them and change their passwords to secure alternatives. Don’t use any passwords you’ve ever used before or words, numbers, or phrases that your ex-spouse can easily guess.


For the most security, set up a password manager and use their random generator to come up with a unique password for each account. Also, set up two-factor authentication on all accounts that allow it. It’s also not a bad idea to switch up your passwords every three to six months from then on to reduce the chance of anyone breaking into your accounts.


Closely Watch Your Accounts

Once you have your accounts separated and locked down with a secure password, all that’s left to do is keep a close eye on them — now and in the future. By checking in with your accounts on a regular basis, you can watch for unauthorized activity that indicates someone is messing with your data. Many platforms will send an email if your account is accessed by a new computer or from a strange location, so watch for that as well.


Plan to look at your financial accounts a few times a month at the bare minimum. Other accounts may only need a monthly check-in, however. If anything is changed, or you simply cannot log in, that’s a big red flag that someone has breached your account.


Report All Breaches and Repair the Damage

The second you notice strange activity within your accounts, it’s important to take steps to mitigate the damage right away. Waiting even a few days will give the offending party enough time to wreak havoc in your financial accounts and credit history.


Common signs of identity theft you should watch for include:

  • Notifications stating someone accessed your account
  • Personal info, financial data, or password changes
  • Small and large purchases that you did not authorize
  • Past due reports on your credit history
  • Phone calls or letters from collection agencies

Upon noticing any of these problems, you’ll want to change your password to a brand new one and set up two-factor authentication if that wasn’t done prior. Then, notify the organization of the data breach and file a police report.


Furthermore, if they are using your credit or debit card to make purchases, you’ll need to report it stolen and get a new card. You can dispute the charges with your bank or credit card company, though it may take them some time to investigate.


Need Help Fixing the Damage to Your Accounts?

If your accounts were damaged by your ex-spouse or any other party, you don’t have to repair the damage alone. You can fix the problem — and fast — with help from our team at The Cardoza Law Corporation. With our free Identity Theft Repair Kit, you’ll learn all the steps you need to follow in resolving the damage that identity theft left behind. You can also call 415-802-2799 or 213-474-3338 to schedule a free phone consultation with one of our attorneys.

Michael F. Cardoza, Esq.
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U.S. Marine & Consumer Financial Protection Attorney helping victims of ID theft and Credit Reporting errors.