When I say freeze, and freeze now, I don’t mean move to Minnesota. I’m talking about your credit.
As everyone knows, Equifax, one of the three major credit reporting agencies (CRAs), experienced one of the greatest hacks in history. It exposed millions of people’s personal information to the hackers that inhabit the “dark web,” where that information can be used to open new credit in your name that you may not even know about until it’s too late and your credit needs serious repair.
So what do we need to do? Freeze your credit with all three CRAs. This is not for everyone, such as those of us rebuilding our credit. But once it’s rebuilt and stable, and you don’t foresee needing new accounts, then freezing it will lock it up from the dark web and all the bad guys.
I’m going to put how to do it below, but first a warning. You will get a personal identification number (PIN) that you must keep safe and accessible to unfreeze your credit. You must know that number cold and keep it very safe and accessible to you only through a password keeper or in an actual vault, or all three. So don’t do this until you have secured how to keep the PIN safe.
So freeze your own credit at all 3 CRAs and even those of your children, even if minor children.
Freeze your credit online at https://freeze.transunion.com/sf/securityFreeze/landingPage.jsp or calling (888) 909-8872
They charge $10 (cheap insurance if you ask me)
Later on to lift temporarily or unfreeze go to https://freeze.transunion.com/tab/product/securityfreeze
Freeze your credit online at https://www.experian.com/ncaonline/freeze or by calling (888) 397-3742 (select prompt 2) Also $10
You can thaw the credit at the same website address or telephone number.
Freeze your credit online at https://www.freeze.equifax.com/Freeze/jsp/SFF_PersonalIDInfo.jsp or call (800) 685-1111 (select prompt 3).
Thawing uses the same web address, and they don’t have the gall to charge for this as they allowed the mess to occur in the first place.