Freeze your credit reports

As you read the news headlines, you see there has been another massive data breach with millions of accounts exposed. What can you do to avoid identity theft? Besides having strong, unique passwords, consider freezing your credit reports from the three major credit bureaus. You can do the whole process online, and it takes about 5-10 minutes per bureau.

They will ask you information including your name, address, phone number, and social security number to find your credit report and prove your identity.

Of course, if you are applying for a credit card, auto loan, mortgage, or other credit, you will need to temporarily lift the freeze. You can do this online too.

If you have more questions about a credit freeze, see the FTC's FAQ.

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