|My Regards by Reese Phillips|
July 5, 2012
While talking privately on the phone, have you ever told a close friend or family member something about your ex and later, your ex mentions it? You may think your ex is just a lucky guesser but maybe your ex is listening. Are you keeping personal documents on your computer and your ex always seems to have insight into your records? Is your ex making comments about your dating life and you wonder where that information is coming from? Do you wonder if this is all in your imagination? Well, maybe it's not. In today's world of technology, it is all too easy to spy on someone. The things we used to only see in James Bond movies are readily available to anyone who has access to the internet these days. The good news is the technology to protect yourself is just as readily available.
If you live in the same residence that you once shared with your ex, change the locks! You once trusted this person. It's hard to believe they would do something to you as vile as invading your privacy. However, divorce can make your ex a dangerous and creepy person beyond what you would have ever imagined. Changing the locks is the only way to ensure your ex is not in your space when you aren't home. Make sure you handle every possible entrance to the house. It's easy to forget about the garage door but don't. Once you re-set the garage door opener, the old remotes won't open the door any more. Check the install guide to see how to re-set the code. If you don't have the guide, you can find it on the internet.
Once you know your ex does not have physical access to your home, you need to make sure you aren't being monitored remotely. Listening devices could already be installed in your house. Get yourself a radio frequency (RF) detector. You will need to search the internet and they vary in price. Do your homework and make sure you are purchasing one with good ratings from other customers. You don't want to spend money on something that just puts on a light show. Since an RF detector warns you of anything that is transmitting, you will need to turn off all your devices that put out a signal. Your wireless router, your cell phone, your cordless phones are all devices that must be completely powered off. Then, slowly move through every area of your house to see where there are still signals transmitting. If you find a bug, call the police to make a report and call your attorney. You probably need a restraining order.
Get a new cell phone with a different carrier than your ex. Intercepting the newer brands of cell signals is extremely difficult and usually limited to police equipment. Putting a bug in your phone is not difficult at all. Since the cost of a new phone is so low, it makes sense to just get a new one and make sure your ex never has possession of it.
Spyware can be easily installed on your computer to steal your passwords or monitor your emails. Your ex doesn't need to have physical access to your computer to do this either. Spyware can be covertly attached to an email and installs itself when you open the message. If you are on a budget, there are many free versions of spyware protection. The paid versions are usually better but the free versions work as well. I recommend that you run several versions of anti-spyware software routinely, especially after opening an email from your ex. Anti-spyware software is time consuming to run but doesn't require your presence. Kick off the scan before you go to bed or before you leave for work and let it run. Even if your ex isn't the one infecting your computer, you can rest assured that some of the sites you visit on the internet are. Running anti-spyware is just a good practice all around.
You may not think of this but you need to change your passwords often. In addition, don't use the same password for every site and don't choose something that your ex can guess. Children's names, pet's names, birthdays and anniversaries are common passwords because they are easy for you to remember. However, your ex knows these things too. Also, don't leave passwords on post-it notes or other papers sitting around. A 2007 study by Microsoft found that the average person has 25 passwords to all kinds of applications. That number has surely grown since then. There are many applications for computers, smart phones and IPods that will store all your usernames and passwords. The application itself is password protected. You only need to memorize the application password. Everything else is safely stored and at your fingertips.
Another place that you need to protect is your mail box. Just because it's a federal offense to tamper with your mail doesn't mean you ex isn't doing it. The probability of getting caught is so low that your ex is most likely not worried about the feds. Divorce changes normally rational people into stalkers and law breakers. If you think your mail is being intercepted, get a post office box and route all your correspondence there. The United States Postal Service is not the only place to get a post office box. These can be rented from UPS stores, Mail Boxes Etc and many small businesses. Check your local yellow pages for the location nearest you.
So, the next time you get that nagging feeling that your ex is spying on you, trust your instincts and protect yourself. It's not paranoia. It's just being cautious and there is no harm in that.