Credit Monitoring vs. Credit Freeze: How To Protect Against The Equifax Security Breach
Credit monitoring will alert consumers when a new account or credit inquiry shows up on their credit reports. This is helpful, but not fool proof because there is a delay between when the inquiry is made and when it shows up on the credit report (usually weeks). This will not prevent someone who has your personal information from potentially using it to establish credit in your name, it will only alert you after it has already happened.
A credit freeze will prevent anyone who may have your personal information from accessing your credit history; making it very difficult for new credit to be established. Freezing your credit is simple. You can contact the three main credit reporting agencies below. In return, they will freeze your credit and provide you with a secret personal identification number, which you will use to unfreeze your credit whenever you want to establish new credit in the future.
How to Freeze Your Credit
For additional information on security freeze procedures, please visit the Federal Trade Commission or the Office of the Attorney General’s webpage for your state of residence: