Last fall, one of the major credit monitoring agencies was hacked and the data and privacy of millions and millions of consumers was breached. While that remains a startling violation of information security, there are some responses to it that are helping consumers. One of them is that, thanks to a provision added to a banking bill in the United States House of Representatives, initiating a credit freeze will no longer be a service Equifax and other credit bureaus can charge you for. Assuming the bill is signed into law, in four months the credit freezes will be available to any consumer worried about their fiscal vulnerability following the data breach.
This is no small concern, considering how much damage can be done to your finances if someone has your data. With only your name and social security number, it’s possible to open credit cards and bank accounts, take out loans, and generally leave you vulnerable to financial fraud you often won’t find out about until much later. Untangling that mess can be difficult, particularly if you insist on not paying for things you didn’t do. Some states in America already provided for free credit freezes, but now they’ll be required to be provided at no cost at the federal level. No matter where you live in the United States, you can lock your financial vulnerability down.