Even in marriage, everyone has a reasonable right to privacy.
This means your spouse should not spy on your private conversations, peek into your phone or computer, or follow you without your knowledge.
However, a jealous spouse or one who’s trying to gather information for an upcoming appearance in divorce court may cross the line and invade your privacy.
Why Do Spouses Spy?
Some people are just jealous by nature. And if your spouse has been cheated on or lied to in the past, that could make the likelihood that they’ll resort to sneaking and spying much higher.
Your spouse may be suspicious that you aren’t always telling the truth. Maybe they wonder whether you’re really working all those long hours, or going to nighttime college classes. Or, they think you may be talking to an ex or someone else who could be detrimental to your health or well-being.
If your spouse plans to file for divorce, or if you’re in the midst of divorce proceedings, your spouse may snoop to gather information they think may help them in a case for child support, child custody, or spousal support.
No matter what the reason, any information that’s obtained illegally, such as through hacking into your email or financial accounts, cannot be used against you in court. However, if your spouse uses information obtained illegally to then gather evidence through legal means, that is acceptable.
How Can You Tell Your Spouse Is Spying?
Depending on the type of spying and how good your spouse is at covering their tracks, you may know right away that you’re being spied on.
In other cases, however, there may be some subtle hints that something’s amiss. Your spouse may act strangely, or mention things you don’t remember telling them. Or, you could notice that emails are marked as unread that you know you didn’t read, or the volume on your phone or computer is set at a different level than you remember.
Here are some ways you can tell if your spouse has been spying on you:
- You feel as if someone is following you, whether in your car or in person
- Your phone’s settings have been changed
- You return to your phone and it’s still on, or an app is open that you didn’t have open
- You notice messages and emails marked as read that you haven’t read
- Your phone or other digital device begins acting strangely
- You notice new programs installed on your computer or digital device
- You notice things added to your home or car, such as GPS devices or cameras
- Your spouse mentions conversations, people, or information you know you didn’t tell them about
- Your friends or relatives mention receiving strange messages from you that you know you didn’t send
What to Do If Your Spouse Is Spying on You
If you believe your spouse is spying on you, there are some steps you can take to protect yourself.
Change All Passwords
Secure all your digital information – your phone, computer, and all important websites (social media, email, banking, etc.) with new passwords your spouse cannot guess. It may be best to use generated passwords of random letters and numbers in case your spouse still is able to guess your new passwords.
Consider changing your passwords every few weeks, too.
This prevents sticking with a password for too long, allowing your spouse to find a way to crack it.
Install Anti-Spyware Software
If your spouse has installed spyware on your computer or handheld device, a high-quality anti-spyware program should detect it.
Install a program such as McAfee or Norton and run checks routinely on all your digital devices. If you find spyware, note what the program was and immediately uninstall it.
It can be tempting to simply confront your spouse and tell them to quit spying on you.
However, this can do more harm than good, as it could cause your spouse to become aggressive or even more sneaky.
Instead, do everything you can to remain aware of the potential spying and protect against further information-gathering.
Get a Lawyer
If you think your spouse is spying on you and suspect information gathered could be used against you in some way, you may need to consult an attorney.
A lawyer can give you guidance on what steps to take to protect yourself, can notify your spouse to stop spying on you, and can help protect you from any consequences of the information your spouse may have found.
Experienced Divorce Attorney in Maryland
At the Law Offices of Sandra Guzman-Salvado, our experienced attorneys can help you if you believe your spouse may be spying on you. Whether you’re in the middle of a divorce, plan to stay married, or your divorce has been over for years, our team can give you peace of mind and guidance in your case. Schedule your consultation today!