Feb. 12, 2019
Hackers had a record haul last year, unfortunately. They stole nearly half a billion personal records containing sensitive personal information, like bank account and Social Security numbers in 2018.
That's why it's more important than ever to freeze your credit files to keep the bad guys out.
"Data breaches are the new normal," said Eva Velasquez, president and CEO of the non-profit Identity Theft Resource Center. "Our data is constantly being compromised, so having a credit freeze in place is one of the most pro-active consumer protection steps. It's really easy and it's free."
If you apply for credit and someone needs access to your credit file, you can quickly and temporarily remove the freeze.
"You contact the credit reporting agency where you have the freeze and ask them to thaw it," Velasquez said. "And you can even set that for a specific period of time, 24 hours, two days, as long as you need it thawed and then it will automatically refreeze."
Listen to Herb's interview with Adam Levin, author of "Swiped," about why these breaches are happening and how to deal with them.