CREDIT FREEZE UPDATE

CREDIT FREEZE UPDATE

One of the single most important steps a person can take to protect their identity, credit, and personal information from being stolen is to place a credit freeze on their profile with the four major credit bureaus.  It has been said that every U.S. citizen should have a credit freeze in place, including minor children.  A credit freeze is easy to put in place, and easy to manage.  It prevents anyone (including yourself) from opening up new lines of credit without first lifting the freeze and providing a security PIN assigned by each credit bureau.  Your frozen credit profile also shields your home address from companies that generate per-approved offers and target the address information located in the credit header of your reports.

All of the major consumer credit bureaus are now required to offer free credit freezes to all Americans and their dependents. Maybe you’ve been holding off freezing your credit file because your home state currently charges a fee for placing or thawing a credit freeze, or because you believe it’s just not worth the hassle. If that accurately describes your views on the matter, there is no longer a barrier to this absolute must to protect your credit profile.

A new law also provides additional ID theft protections to minors. Currently, some state laws allow you to freeze a child’s credit file, while others do not. Starting Sept. 21, 2018 no matter where you live you’ll be able to get a free credit freeze for kids under 16 years old.  This past week I taught a privacy and digital security course and discussed the benefits of a credit freeze with my students.  During the class, one of my students used their mobile phone’s browser to visit each credit bureau and successfully put a credit freeze in place.  This is an outstanding example of how easy it is now to obtain a credit freeze, the ultimate form of protection for your credit profiles.

The following links will assist you in doing the same thing.

Equifax: https://www.freeze.equifax.com

Experian: https://www.experian.com/freeze/center.html

TransUnion: https://service.transunion.com/dss/orderStep1_form.page

Innovis: https://www.innovis.com/personal/securityFreeze

NCTUE: https://www.nctue.com/Consumers

Additional information here:  https://krebsonsecurity.com/2018/09/in-a-few-days-credit-freezes-will-be-fee-free/

 

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