As online privacy invasion and security risks become more common, it’s imperative for every user of online technology to take steps to protect their privacy. One of the most valuable security measures you can take is to initiate a credit freeze. This article will tell you what a credit freeze is and how to set one up for yourself.
What is a credit freeze?
It is easier than you would imagine for some unscrupulous entity to find and steal your identity to get a new credit card, loan, or any number of fake accounts in your name.
A credit freeze restricts any other individual or institution from creating a new account using your personal identifying information. This means no one can open a bank account or get a credit card or loan using your name and information.
Instituting a credit freeze will not affect your credit score or impact your credit or bank accounts, other than to provide an extra layer of security. This security enhancement is one of the simplest and most effective ways you can protect yourself from identity theft.
How to set up a credit freeze
First, pull a FREE credit report which will help you identify any fraudulent accounts that may have been opened under your name.
Next, submit a freeze to each of the following major credit bureaus by clicking the links below. If you prefer, each credit bureau offers telephone or mail-in applications, as well.
All of these credit bureaus offer telephone assistance and provide mail-in options as well if you prefer.
A credit freeze is an easy step you can take to greatly improve your personal data privacy and it is well worth the effort. You’ll want to revisit these steps for every member of your family—including your children.
There has been an alarming increase in identity theft of minors, so issuing a credit freeze for all your kids is important. Freezing credit for kids is a bit trickier as there are extra steps involved and it can’t all be done online. You’ll have to complete and mail in forms along with a copy of their birth certificate and a copy of your driver’s license.
These credit freezes remain in place unless and until you instruct each credit bureau to release it. So take a little time now to better secure you and your family’s security well into the future.