How to Protect Your Online Privacy from Your Angry Ex

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Relationship breakups can be quite tricky in the digital age, especially if one partner isn’t ready to let go and resorts to snooping or stalking. You’ll need to employ the right habits, software, and social media settings to protect your digital security and privacy.

Tip #1 Change Your Login Credentials

To prevent unauthorized access, you should change the login credentials to your email, social media pages, and bank accounts. Set a long and sophisticated password that’s hard to breach, and change your secret questions too. For extra security, activate two-factor authentication (2FA). With 2FA, even if someone has your password, they may not be able to log into your accounts and invade your privacy.

Similarly, change the passcodes to your tablet, smartphone, and other devices. Likewise, change the codes for your security system, smart assistant, and any security cameras that monitor your home.

Tip #2 Use Anti-Malware Security Software

Many computer users wonder: what are computer viruses, and how can they affect my privacy? In a nutshell, computer viruses are malicious programs that try to corrupt computers and devices by deleting data. But PC viruses are more of a legacy threat today. Whether you use Windows or macOS, your operating system’s security tools should be able to stop most viruses.

To protect your privacy, you should look for anti-malware software. Unfortunately, many trolls, ex-partners, and predators use malware like spyware, keyloggers, and stalkerware to spy on their targets. Top antivirus software with anti-malware capabilities can stop these privacy-invading unwanted programs.

Tip #3 Change Your Social Media Settings

Whether you use Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, TikTok, or Snapchat, you should limit who can see confidential posts. With so many fake profiles crowding the social media landscape, one should also be wary of friend requests from strangers.

Tip #4 Be Cautious with Gifts

Don’t accept unusual technology-related gifts from people you don’t trust. Spyware can hide in mobile phones, keyboards, USB thumb drives, pens, cameras, and other pieces of hardware. It can also hide in programs.

Tip #5 Audit Your Apps

Examine the list of apps on your computer and your mobile device for suspicious programs that needlessly have access to your GPS, camera, or microphone. For example, many stalkerware brands look like security tools for mobile devices.

Remember, a threat actor will know once you isolate and remove their stalkerware. So, you may need to develop a safety plan before removing the app. Don’t hesitate to get in touch with the authorities in potentially abusive situations.

Tip #6 Stop GPS Tracking

A threat actor doesn’t need GPS tracking to stalk a target if they share a cellular account or a mobile platform. For example, some mobile phone services offer GPS tracking. A stalker can also misuse Apple’s Fine My app service to track people. Disable all forms of GPS tracking to enhance your privacy.

Even after removing potentially unwanted programs from your devices, you may consider resetting them to be completely safe. Alternatively, consider buying a burner phone if you can’t trust your original. Ultimately, trust your instincts, and take any necessary step for your physical and emotional wellbeing.