Posted by William Charles on September 28, 2017
Credit Reports

Published on September 28th, 2017 | by William Charles

47

Equifax Will Allow Consumers To Lock & Unlock Their Credit Report For Free For Life

Interim Equifax CEO Paulino do Rego Barros Jr has published an op-ed piece of WSJ titled “On Behalf of Equifax, I’m Sorry”. In this piece he states that consumers will have until the end of January to sign up for free credit freeezes (previously it was mid November) in addition Equifax has made a commitment that by January 31st Equifax will offer a new service allowing consumers the option of controlling access to their personal credit data. This will let consumers lock and unlock access to their Equifax credit report. The service will be free for life.

The issue I have with this announcement is that it does little to actually provide protections for consumers. Experian & TransUnion reports will not be free to freeze and unfreeze and criminals with access to breached information would still be able to open unauthorized accounts. Consumers should have had the ability to freeze and unfreeze their credit reports for all three credit bureaus before this incident took place, I think it’s laughable that consumer reporting agencies are allowed to collect and sell consumer credit data and then charge consumers to limit who has access to that data. To make matters worse the data found in an individuals credit report is often inaccurate and difficult to correct.

I appreciate that Mr Rego Barros is doing his best in a bad situation, but for me it’s too little too late. I’d like to see more regulation surrounding credit reporting agencies and data breaches in general as it seems like they are becoming an all too common occurrence. We’ve compiled a list of things you should do in response to this data breach here.



47
Leave a Reply

avatar
 

  Subscribe  
newest oldest most voted
Notify of
Chuck

They put an apology letter behind a paywall? Huh?

Aahz
Aahz

No they put an apology in the widest circulating newspaper in the world. It was the Wall Street Journal who put up the paywall.

Mike M
Mike M

Lol

Aditya Shrivastava
Aditya Shrivastava
Aahz
Aahz

At least now that Equifax is “leading the way” with free “freezes”, Experian & Transunion are likely to follow.

Curmudgeon
Curmudgeon

I’d be good with this. These 3 entities control an awful lot of personal information on people. We should have the ability to control the release of it.

Credit
Credit

You cannot treat the symptom. You have to treat the cause. The only way to fix this is if we nuke Alabama.

Avi
Avi

I say we start with Mississippi.

Curmudgeon
Curmudgeon

Con-suers?

Freudian slip in the title? 😉

Vic
Vic

😂😂

Mj
Mj

If you could freeze Lexus Nexus, that’d really help shut this down.

Andrew S
Andrew S

You want to freeze a Lexus?

J
J

I think he meant Lexis Nexis, but I wouldn’t mind freezing every Lexus as well.

Clinton H
Clinton H

You want to freeze a Nexus?

Mike
Mike

Hopefully this will pave the way of free credit freezes across all bureaus.

stacker
stacker

It’s about time although they are only doing this because it’s in their best interest to avoid getting sued.

TheMonkeyTech
TheMonkeyTech

Transunion provides free credit locks through the free Trueidentity membership. Is that comparable to an actual freeze? That should give us sufficient protection at Transunion, right?

tinytavosa
tinytavosa

Curious about this too. It seems similar enough to prevent theft, but may fall short on some official status that makes it not as good? The information I found when researching this the last week was sorta hit or miss and didn’t do a great job giving a very clear reason why you’d need a freeze vs a lock. Anyone knowledgeable would be appreciated.

I did use the free TU lock to prevent a credit inquiry, so that’s cool.

TomTX
TomTX

Even if the Big 3 and Lexis-Nexis get onboard with free freezes, that leaves 50+ piss-ant little credit bureaus who typically will only communicate by letter.

Tarun
Tarun

The only way to ensure that your personal (and other) data is secure is not only to freeze what you can but also only to use your identifiers and credit seeking in a smart way. Even then anyone with internet and a credit/debit card can pretty much find almost everything about you. Welcome to the digital era!

Max
Max

TransUnion allows free credit freezes for all here (https://www.transunion.com/product/trueidentity-free-identity-protection) at TransUnion TrueIdentity.

Charlie
Charlie

If this is for real, I am astonished that most of us didn’t know about it until now. And equally astonished that it was not mentioned in any of the recent news stories about how to protect oneself after the Equifax breach.

Chris
Chris

Thanks. This is awesome. I just locked my TransUnion report.

jack
jack

Thanks Max..signed up free..

Sugoi AF
Sugoi AF

Be sure to use a randomly generated security answer too.

TU lets you immediately access an account without a password if you know the email, SSN, and security answer (no email confirmation required). Your security answer is also viewable in plaintext under settings.

Vic
Vic

Thank you. This is by far the most important thing to know about this service.

AC
AC

Does anyone know how much to “unfreeze” the credit if needs to before applying for a CC? I can’t seem to find that particular info on its website.

Gadget
Gadget

Nice. Undecided if I will sign-up. I have to wonder how long it will before they change their terms to a paid subscription model. This may just be an attempt to see how many potential subscribers they will get. Not saying it will be tomorrow, but it’s their ability to make it that way after the Equifax dust settles.

I mirror what DoC says… these companies collect and make money off our data. As the individuals who are at risk, we SHOULD have the ability to control access to the data. I predict legislation coming soon on this; well, soon, as in the next 5 years. Nothing happens quickly in Govt. The downside to that is the credit bureaus will incur more expenses, they will impose higher fees to the banks & creditors, and it rolls downhill to the consumers.

Miles
Miles

A freeze provides perfect protection. To unlock it you will need to provide the PIN which the credit reporting agency has assigned to you. They keep their copy of your PIN in a database, which keeps it safe from hackers….

Files
Files

It’s a bit late for sarcasm.

Mimi
Mimi

Wouldn’t it be safer if WE provided our own PINs? if they’re provided by CRAs and hackers has all our information, can’t they get access to this once they pass through ID verification? If we provide our own PIN that the hackers don’t know and CRAs won’t be able to provide it to them because it is encrypted and it’s only us who can unlock such info, wouldn’t that be safer?

Ender
Ender

If it’s a 4 digit PIN, then it’s pretty easy to break it with brute force. If it’s a password with decent complexity and they store it with salt+hash, then you are right.

Mimi
Mimi

I agree, a complex word with added numbers to it that is encrypted so that not even the CRAs can provide the one who inquires. IOW, we carry the responsibility of knowing our PW or else, there is NO key that can unlock it except us.

Gadget
Gadget

They still have to record the PIN somewhere to compare it to. Unless you want them to call you and have your toddler confirm the PIN.

Vic
Vic

LOL

Jab
Jab

That kind of solution would never be enough, since personal data is gone. There are plenty of options to use it in a bad way even if credit reports are frozen. The only good solution is a major change to SSN system to make leaked data irrelevant. Maybe a 2 factor authentication SSN would be a solution, maybe something else.

Glenn
Glenn

Read the NYTimes coverage of this:

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/09/27/your-money/equifax-credit-freeze-lock-apology.html?mcubz=1

Basically:
– You shouldn’t trust them to develop this on time/securely/reliably. Based on their response to the breach you should have serious skepticism over this.
– We don’t know if they’ll force arbitration on people to use this service
– We don’t know if you’ll have to sign up for something else to use it (Experian’s is “free” but requires you to sign up for their ID protection first).

JsMommie77
JsMommie77

I have been using TrueIdentity for over a year to lock/unlock my TransUnion report. Whenever I need to unlock it to apply for credit, I just log in and do so. No pin # is required. After I apply, I just click to lock it again. It’s really easy to use!

Back to Top ↑