Family Law in a Digital World: 5 Technology Tips to Discuss with Clients

Internet-based services and related technologies like Bluetooth and GPS allow people to connect at a distance, enjoy entertainment, and get from place to place. They can also provide ways for malicious or abusive parties to gain access to sensitive information that could allow them to compromise the privacy or safety of others.

If you work with a client who suspects that their privacy has been compromised by another party, how they use various technologies could be putting them at risk. Here are five technology tips to review with your client to help them stay safe while using the internet and electronic devices.

Know which technologies your client uses

Ask about the various devices they use, like smartphones, tablets, laptops, and others. You’ll also want to know the kinds of online services they use, such as social media platforms, online dating websites, GPS services, mobile apps, and more. Even understanding how often they use Bluetooth can be relevant.

Change account passwords

Updating account passwords is a best practice for keeping your information safe online. Still, it’s essential for those who believe that their accounts are at risk of being accessed by an unauthorised person.

Talk to your client about changing the passwords for their online accounts and devices, like their smartphone passcode. In addition, ask that they also review any security questions on accounts and change any questions that someone else could easily answer.

Check their smartphone settings

Review the configuration of location services in the Settings menu of your client’s smartphone. They may be giving away their location inadvertently, depending on how they use that setting.

Also, ask that your client keeps Bluetooth turned off when they are not using it. This can prevent your client from being monitored or have privacy-compromising software installed on their device without their knowledge.

Review their social media privacy settings

Talk to your client about updating the privacy settings on every social media account they use. Be sure to review the different privacy options for each account, looking specifically for any settings that could share your client’s location.

Moreover, discuss with your client what they post publicly on these accounts. Again, keeping their location confidential can be vital to their privacy and safety, so consider instructing them to stop tagging photos and posts to any places they visit.

Manage all communication with the other party through a single service

In some situations, a client may need to continue having some degree of contact with a party who they suspect could have the ability to track them online, like a co-parent. Consider advising your client to set a boundary to handle any necessary communication with the other party through one service, like a single email account or a communication app.

Limiting the number of avenues through which the other party is contacting your client can help reduce the stress of not predicting how the other party would reach them. Also, if all communication is handled in writing, it can be easier to report on it for court purposes if ever necessary.

Looking for more technology safety tips for clients? Review 10 key tips to discuss with clients here.

About OurFamilyWizard

OurFamilyWizard helps families living separately thrive. Its products provide both families and the family law professionals who serve them with the tools necessary for more seamless and successful co-parenting. Since its inception in 2001, over one million parents and professionals have leveraged OurFamilyWizard to share calendars, messages, journals, files, expenses, and important information such as health and school records. The platform has been recommended by courts in all 50 U.S. states, Canada, the United Kingdom, New Zealand, and Australia.