December 8, 2023

Bucks: Security Freezes: How They’ve Worked Out for You

In this weekend’s “Your Money” column, I write about security freezes, also known as credit freezes, in the wake of the big customer data breach at Sony.

After such a breach, standard best practice now seems to be to offer affected customers credit monitoring or something similar. But no companies (or employers, who have experienced plenty of breaches, too) ever seem to offer security freezes, which allow the person who sets them up to keep anyone from accessing their credit reports. Without that access, companies generally won’t set up a new account, which keeps the bad guys from opening new accounts in your name.

Sony, too, isn’t offering its customers free credit freezes, alas. I’ve had my files frozen for years, and thawing them to refinance a mortgage or get a new credit card rarely requires little more than 10 or 15 minutes of effort, plus a bit of money to pay the fees.

Are your credit files frozen, and if so, how has it worked out for you? Anyone out there refused to freeze their files for whatever reason?

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