Information Security

Divorce and Space Crimes

The First Crime in Space! Recent headlines from The New York Times and other prominent news agencies drew in readers stating that the first crime in space had allegedly been committed. The articles went on to discuss the thorny privacy and jurisdictional issues given that NASA was involved and the crime was purported to have occurred on the International Space Station, where astronauts from the United States, Russia, Japan, Europe and Canada orbit the Earth. At its heart, however, the supposed first crime in space is a bitterly contested domestic relations matter involving income, assets, custody of a child, and de facto parent status.

Summer Worden and Anne McClain (a decorated NASA astronaut who was tapped for the first all-female spacewalk, and is in consideration to be the first woman on the moon) were married in 2014. Ms. Worden has a son, who was born approximately one year before the parties met.

By 2018, the parties’ relationship had broken down, and Ms. McClain, who had no legal status as a parent to Ms. Worden’s son, approached a Texas Court asking for shared parenting rights to the child and “the exclusive right to designate the primary residence of the child.” … Keep reading

password mobile security smartphone fingerprint scanningGenerally speaking, when you’re involved in marital conflict (divorce, separation, etc.), you should immediately change the password to your email, work computer, tablet and of course, your phone. We also discussed this  in The 7 Deadly (Tech) Sins of Divorce – Part 1 and The 7 Deadly (Tech) Sins of Divorce – Part 2.

Smartphones are everywhere, most people have one. The most common smartphones are either Android (from Google) or the iPhone (from Apple). My focus is the iPhone. I use ‘iPhone’, ‘phone’, and ‘smartphone’ interchangeably.

iPhones come pre-installed with a huge amount of technology (including apps) that anyone involved in family conflict (lawyers, friends, family and litigants) should be aware of. Today I’m talking about the technology preloaded on your phone, ready to use as soon as you take it out of the box. Software that has to be downloaded (whether free or paid) will be the subject of later articles that will link back to this one. I have an iPhone 6S (running iOS 9.2) but much of the information here applies to any iPhone as long as it runs iOS 8.0 or greater.… Keep reading

Social Data and Divorce: What is Your Data Predicting?

Hi there,

This time of year there are always articles making their way around the internet about relationships and marriages.

Facebook keeps all kinds of statistics and can tell from posts where folks are in their relationships. It is fascinating to me that they can track when the relationship gets serious, and when it goes bad.

There was another interesting piece on how the “cost” of sex has lessened, and how that affects choices for men and women differently (shades of my grandmother).

The most interesting piece, though, was a rather lengthy New York Times opinion piece on how marriages have changed and how the differences affect what we expect of marriage.

Best,

Nancy… Keep reading

National Cyber Security Awareness Month

Hi there,

National Cyber Security Awareness MonthDid you know that October is National Cyber Security Awareness Month? I hadn’t, although as a survivor I do know it is Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

I am pretty conscious of how public the Internet is and how dangerous being online can get if you are in the process of divorcing.  I have also recently discovered that if you and your spouse share an iTunes account there is a real possibility that your messages can appear on his device. This means you need your own iTunes account when you start the divorce process.

We and all our children and grandchildren each have a cyber presence. I know that my grandkids all have a better working knowledge of the Internet than I do — I just learned what snapchat is.

In divorce the Internet can be a help as well as a minefield. There are multiple calendar options that make coparenting easier.  Cell phones mean you can be in touch with your kids in many more ways in real time regardless of where you are.

It also means that you and your coparent have an obligation to your kids to set a reasonable plan with limits … Keep reading

Bird at window

Hi there,

In last week’s post I shared some tips to help protect your privacy when divorcing.  Following are a few more to consider.

1. Whether you move or stay, make sure that the post office has all the necessary address changes.  Also be sure to contact all the credit card companies, phone carriers, banks, etc. with your change of address.  If you have concerns about the security of mail in a mailbox, get a PO Box.

Bird at window
Seagull spying at my office window. Privacy, please!

2. You also need to recognize that your private home may not be so private.  If you have kids, they may stumble across divorce information, or your spouse may come into the house to pick them up for a visit.  Designate a spot to keep your divorce files (and you will be accumulating divorce files) — a  locked filing cabinet may be the best choice.  Never leave computers on with your email account open.

3. You will now be responsible for the protections that are in place for your kids when they are with you. This means you should have computer limitations set for all machines they may even remotely access.  I was … Keep reading

Cat Hiding

Hi there,

For most folks the decision to separate is hard, and the reality of what separation means can be harder.  One of the most important aspects of separating is privacy.  Whether you stay in the marital home or get your own new home, among your first steps should be protecting your privacy.  Following are the first of several tips I have for protecting your privacy when separating.

Cat Hiding
My cat trying to get some privacy

1.  If you are staying in your home, change the locks as soon as your spouse moves out.  Reprogram the alarm system (if you have one) to a new code.  Also, contact your alarm company to make sure that they will not let your spouse reprogram it again.  Get the garage door opener back and reprogram the garage code.  Make sure that you have all the keys to the vehicles that you drive.

2.  Immediately, if not sooner, change ALL your passwords.  This applies to your email, any online shopping sites, any online business accounts, retirement accounts, bank accounts, credit cards, etc.  Don’t forget to change the password to your smartphone or any other electronic devices.  If you had not utilized the password function … Keep reading

Hi there,

I hope you all had a good weekend despite the weather.  I managed to avoid watching Tiger Woods’ mea culpa last week, but then I came across this article which basically condones the behavior as “natural”.  While I can certainly see the argument that promiscuity may be wired in people, (I have had animals all my life and I know its wired in in them) I really think that as adult human beings we all make choices and promiscuity is a particularly self destructive choice to be making.

The Internet is a fertile field for divorce lawyers.  As one, I am very mindful of the pitfalls of social networking.  It also is a fertile field for thieves as this new site points out.  Privacy in this wired-in age can be illusory.  I had no idea how much information the mere existence of  technology can provide someone who is able to access it.

And finally, a colleague of mine alerted me about this website, Simple Marriage.  It is an interesting compilation of self-help information.  If you are considering divorce you may want to review the possibilities for avoiding it.  Even if in the end … Keep reading

Hi there,

I have always warned clients about how easy it may be for a disgruntled spouse to get into your email.  Now it seems that you have to worry about your cell phone too.  According to an article by Claud L. (“Tex”) McIver and Deepa Subramanian of Fisher & Phillips LLP published on the Law360 website, it is now possible to purchase software to illegally tap cell phones to listen to conversations at any time, and anywhere.  The software is easily accessible via the net and can be installed in less than 10 minutes.  Apparently it is advertised as a good way to catch a cheating spouse.  This is of course, highly illegal, but a real threat.  Apparently the best way to protect your cell would be to password protect it and not let it out of your possession.  On the same idea, here is an interesting article about some other spyware used in divorce.

So as my not-so-sainted granny used to say, never write anything you wouldn’t want to see in print, and I guess that now goes for what you say too.

Best,

Nancy… Keep reading

Hi There,

I write a blog, my daughter is going to show me how Facebook works and I have a bunch of friends who tweet on twitter. This is really an Internet universe – or as some call it, a ‘blogosphere’ or ‘twitterverse’.  And in the Internet universe there may be fewer than six degrees of separation.  There is a tendency to think that one’s personal communications on the Internet are private, but as this Time article shows, they are not.

If you are in a divorce or contemplating one, be careful of what you say on Facebook or on any of the other social media sites.  There is no advantage to chatting about your divorce and how awful the other side is in public and there is a real risk that they may see what you have written.  This may hurt your case, give ammunition to the other side, and could clue them in to what your strategy is.

You would think this would go without saying, but do not show up on a dating site until AFTER you have separated.  Dating sites are not private.  Divorce attorneys are very aware of the pitfalls of our very open … Keep reading