Facebook Essential Tool in Catching Cheating Spouses

In today's all-digital, 21st-century world, another outlet exists for those looking for proof of infidelity for a divorce: Facebook, MySpace, Twitter and other social media websites.

These websites are designed to allow users to share information and photos with anyone who wants to take a look. Of course, in a divorce case, this can mean the opposing team of lawyers. In recent months, Tiger Woods and Jesse James (estranged husband of Sandra Bullock), have found out just how private their text messages can be. Tiger Woods' affairs were apparently discovered when his wife looked at his phone, and Michelle McGee, the woman James was having an affair with, says she has sexy texts that proved their relationship.

How common is it for social media websites to be relevant to a divorce case? According to one North Carolina attorney, roughly one out of every four cases he takes on involve information gleaned from social media websites. "It's becoming all but impossible to protect your information unless you spend hours and hours figuring it out."

With Twitter, unless you have made your account private, every single thing you post, from what you had for breakfast to the celebrity you saw at the local mall food court, can be seen by anyone who knows you have a Twitter account. The posts themselves are always searchable (even when they move off your Twitter front page), and even when deleted, have often been indexed by Internet search websites such as Google, Bing and Yahoo!, and are therefore never completely gone.

Facebook and MySpace are similar. Although in these cases you choose your friends, much of the information, such as where you live, your name and other aspects of your life, can be viewed through simple Internet searches. As the recent Facebook controversy showed, much of what you think is private might not be as private as you think. So, for everyone, not just those trying to come out on top in divorce proceedings, be sure to check the privacy settings on every social media website you belong to. Your information belongs to you; make sure it stays that way.