Protect your safety after a relationship breakdown
Loving relationships only work if there is complete trust between the couple. When that trust isn’t there things go from bad to worse and the relationship inevitably breaks down.
Most relationships end in a civilised way where both parties go their separate ways, but some controlling or abusive ex’s can wreak havoc on your life if they have access to your technology.
In this world of ‘always connected’ we have a range of technology and devices that allow us to control them from anywhere! Being able to turn the heating on when on the way home from the office, or check to see what the dog is upto on the pet-cam are all great bits of kit, but considering the risk is the last thing on your mind when a relationship breaks down.
So what can you do if your relationship breaks down and you suspect something is amiss with your technological life? Maybe the heating runs at full blast during the summer, or is set to cold in the winter, or the lights dim for no apparent reason, or the kids have a been given new smart TVs, or your ex turns up at places you wouldn’t expect to see them. These could all be signs that you are the victim of ‘cyber abuse’ or ‘cyber stalking.’
Things to consider…
- Amazon Echo / Google Home
- Smart Doorbells
- Controllable Lights / Plugs
- CCTV Systems
- Smart Heating Systems
- Smart TVs
- Pet and Kid Cams
- Computers – Desktop or Laptops
- iPad/Android Tablets and Phones
- Email Accounts
- Other Online Accounts
- Hidden Cams
What can you do if you are worried?
- The most important thing is change your passwords! We know its a laborious task but you need to do this right away, and don’t keep using the same password! Keep a list of passwords in a safe place where no one can find them, and that also means not on your phone.
- Check that your online accounts and devices don’t have a backup email address that your ex has access to. If they do create a new backup email account, something like a Google Gmail account, and redirect it there. If its too complicated consider closing the account and create a new one!
- Reconfigure or replace your internet router – or at least get a competent IT Technician to re-configure it for you. Changing the WiFi password is a good start, and making sure the router is not sharing your home devices with the world should be checked.
- Turn off the devices you are worried about when you are not using then until they have been checked. Cover up potential cameras with tape, cover audio devices that can hear what you say, and if all else fails turning off your internet router will disconnect (almost) everything from the outside world. This is a short term measure until you feel more secure your tech is under your control.
- Make sure you are the account holder of all your tech – broadband, apps, emails, social media, all need to be checked, and if you aren’t the account holder, change it!
- Check your phone – ensure your ex is no longer part of a ‘family’ setup, make sure your location is not being shared with others, or at least not with your ex, and ensure all your accounts, such as food/store apps are under your control, and again, change the passwords!
Above all don’t worry. Changing passwords is a really good start, but if you feel you need some help TECNiA can be trusted to do as little or as much as we can to help you feel safe and secure with your technology.
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