Ways You Can Keep Your Credit Safe

January 31, 2012

protecting credit scoresIn these days of identity theft, hackers and worse, we spend a lot of time trying to keep our sensitive data safe. Still, when the call or email comes from your bank’s fraud department, do you know what your options are? The Equifax Finance Blog is here to help with the series “

Fraud Alert Versus Security Freeze.

Both of these tools can be very useful to protect yourself as well as repair your

credit score following damage from fraudulent activity. Fraud alerts are used more frequently than security freezes, but both are important to know. Regardless of how much you know about these tools and others, you need to make sure you check both your accounts and your credit early and often to make sure that you are aware of any problems rather than expecting these to take care of everything.

A security freeze is an action you have taken on your credit file which essentially puts it “on ice.” It prevents the information in your credit file from being shared with others, so new accounts can’t be opened in your name. You can grant access to view your credit with a specialized code that works like a personal identification number, so you control who gets to see your credit. A security freeze often has a fee which vary state to state, so be sure to find those out before you engage the freeze. Also, you have to initiate freezes with each of the three major credit reporting agencies to be effective.

A security freeze doesn’t stop your current accounts from being used, but it can be very effective if your identification gets stolen or you have a breach of sensitive information like your social security number. Additionally, a security freeze will not stop companies you already do business with, such as your mortgage, credit card or cell phone company, from viewing your credit score.

For more information about protecting your credit, be sure to check out the rest of this series of articles on the

Equifax Finance Blog. The blog also has great information about how to handle taxes, insurance, retirement, and real estate.

Categories: Education

About The Author

Read All Stories By Mitch Levinson

Mitch Levinson is the author of “Internet Marketing: The Key to Increased New Home Sales” published by BuilderBooks. He is an Internet marketing expert with expertise in search engine optimization, website development, email marketing, social media and CRM consulting services. He is known for creating effective programs that can be tracked through analytics to prove effectiveness and ROI. Mitch is founder and president of MLC New Home Marketing and MLC FlatFee Realty, as well as managing partner of mRELEVANCE, LLC, a Marketing, Communication, Interactive agency with offices in Chicago and Atlanta. He currently leads the Chicago team. A Multi-Million Dollar Sales Producer who earned an MBA in Computer Information Systems and eCommerce, he brings a unique perspective and experience to the field of real estate communications. Mitch combines the two interests in order to help home builders and developers gain a competitive advantage through the Internet and technology. When he isn’t behind a computer, he enjoys participating in sports and coaching his kids’ teams. Mitch resides in Arlington Heights, Ill., a northwest suburb of Chicago, with his family, which includes two rambunctious labs. Visit my Google+ profile.

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