Over a year ago I was informed that my information, once again, was involved in a data breach. Thanks, T-Mobile, Experian, and Home Depot. I appreciate how well you treat your loyal customers… But I digress.
No one wants to have their identity stolen and go through the hours and hours it takes to get everything cleaned up. Around the same time I also read Brian Krebs’ post on how to freeze your credit so no one can open a new account in your name. So instead of signing up for “credit monitoring” which can ONLY be reactive, and waiving all legal rights, I decided to be as proactive as I could. I froze my credit.
Now, no one can open an account in my name in any of the 4 (Yes, I meant 4) largest credit agencies, Equifax, Experian, Trans Union and Innovis, not even me. Trust me, I tried once. It failed miserably.
So if I can’t even create a new credit account, I’m rather confident that no one else can either.
So let the next information breach come. My credit’s safe. I don’t have to worry anymore.
It could cost you up to $60 and 1 hour of your time. But how long would you have to spend on the phone trying to get your name cleared if there’s a real ID theft using your name, Social Security Number, and address? It all looks legit so convincing the company that loaned the money to the thief won’t be easy. Securing your credit is much easier to do BEFORE there’s a problem than AFTER the problem has occurred.