Breaking up or getting divorced? How to remove your ex from your digital life

You marry or move in together, and your life is tied up in countless ways: a mortgage, electricity bills, and the status of your relationship on social media sites.

Then it ends, and you’re left with a lot of heartache and a lot of work. It’s bad enough to think about everything strangers know about you. Tap or click for steps to perform a thorough background check on yourself so you know what others can find.

Someone who knows you well has access to a lot more information.

If things end badly, you would be wise to check your phone for software that records what you do. Sadly, I’ve heard over the years from many people whose ex set up an espionage program. Tap or click here for the clues you’re looking for.

Sure, you’re going to block and unfollow your ex. It’s a start, but you’ll have to do more to clean up your digital life.

change each password
Your browser stores all your passwords. You need to replace each one. I know it’s a huge pain, and you don’t want to do it. Even if you use a password manager, you should change each password.

Think of other passwords. You need a new email password and a new password for all your accounts. Don’t forget your Apple ID and Google Account or your work sign-in.

I’ll leave it up to you and your ex to decide who to keep the Netflix login.

be a liar
When you are close to someone, they know a lot about you. That could very well include where you grew up, your first car, your mom’s maiden name… yes, you can see where I’m headed.

These are general security questions. Your answers may give someone access to your accounts whether you have shared them or not.

If your breakup was particularly bad or you have a tech-savvy ex, make sure you take this step. Log in to sites that contain sensitive personal information, such as your bank, medical accounts, and financial accounts. Find your security question in the Preferences or Accounts menu and change your answer.

Pro Tip: Fudge your new answers. Most of the details in the default security questions are easily traceable to someone else. Go ahead and make a new one. The caveat, of course, is making sure you remember the lie.

check your bills
Double check all your accounts to see what you share. Your phone plan and streaming services for movies, TV, and music are a good place to start. On the bright side, you may now be able to drop down from a family membership to an account and save money.

If you’re struggling to remember everything you shared, go into your bank app and sort by payments. You can also search for “receipt” or “payment” in your inbox to make sure you get it all. If you have the Google Play Store for iPhone or Android, another place to check your subscriptions is in the App Store.

Save some cash: While you’re at it you can even save some green. I have 8 proven ways Cheap People lower their monthly internet, cable and streaming bills.

Don’t forget smart devices
From security cameras to smart speakers, access to the right account can let your ex see or hear you without your knowledge. Now that’s scary.

It’s time to change even more passwords. Do this for your security system, smart thermostat, Amazon Alexa account if you have one, smart doorbells, and any other Internet-connected devices that have their own standalone accounts.

Be sure to change your home router password. Many routers offer remote access that you can use to view your former router’s logs and connected devices. Tap or click for easy steps to change a router’s password, even if you’re not sure what it is.

drive away bad memories
It’s painful when a memory pops up in Facebook or your Photos app, reminding you of better (or worse) times.

On Facebook, go to and select Hide People under Settings. Next, click the box that says “Start typing a name…” and type in the person you want to forget. Click Save.

If you use Apple Photos, go to Albums > People > Select. Select the person you want to get rid of and tap Remove.

In Google Photos, select Photo Settings > Memories > Hide people and pets. Choose which one you want to get rid of. When you’re finished, tap the back arrow and you’re all set.

Enhance your technical knowledge: 7 IT questions we get all the time, answered

Change device passcode too
Don’t forget your phone’s passcode and your computer or tablet’s password, too. Yes, your ex will need physical access to get into those devices, but better safe than sorry.

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