It is no secret that identify theft and financial data breaches are getting out of control. According to many major news outlets, it is believed that hackers based in China compromised the personal data of at least 4 million current and former federal employees. Many banks and credit card companies have instituted measures to detect credit card fraud or identity theft, but according to our research, these tactics are only reactive. We have some ideas to take matters into your own hands.

creditcardsAll three major credit bureaus, Experian, Equifax, and Transunion, allow someone to put a credit freeze on their social security number. If you are very concerned about becoming a victim of fraud or identity theft, a Security Freeze might be right for you.

Placing a freeze on your credit report will prevent lenders and others from accessing your Credit Report entirely, which will prevent credit from being extended in all cases. If someone stole an identity and intended to open a credit card with the information it would be impossible, therefore proactively protecting your credit from being destroyed. Because of more stringent security features, you will need to place a Security Freeze separately with each of the three major credit reporting companies if you want the freeze on all of your credit files. A Security Freeze remains on your credit file until you remove it or choose to lift it temporarily when applying for credit or credit-dependent services.

With a Security Freeze in place, even you will need to take special steps when you wish to apply for any type of credit by unfreezing your credit.

Placing a protective freeze for a child can prevent fraudulent accounts from being opened with your child’s identity. If you are the parent/legal guardian of a minor or medically incapacitated consumer and reside in an eligible state, you may have the right to request a Protected Consumer Freeze.

Click below to the security freezing information and application for the three major credit bureaus.