A report by Credit Sesame was featured on Business Insider, which showed less than 1% of consumers actually taking steps to protect their credit and finances.
After the Equifax breach, consumers were advised to freeze their credit — but almost no one did it
by Lauren Lyons Cole
The dominoes continue to fall after the Equifax data breach.
On Tuesday, Equifax Chairman of the Board and CEO Richard Smithwas the latest — and most high-profile — executive to step down, following the exit last week of the company’s chief security officer and CIO. The US Justice Department is looking into sales of Equifax stock by executives before news of the breach was made public.
Elizabeth Warren and 11 other Democratic senators launched an investigation into the massive data breach, and announced a plan to introduce a bill to give consumers the ability to freeze their credit for free.
But fewer than 1% of consumers have put a credit freeze in place, according to a new report from credit monitoring site CreditSesame. Of the nearly four million TransUnion credit reports Credit Sesame analyzed, 0.32% had a credit freeze in place, and 7% had a fraud alert.
Freezing your credit, which typically costs $5-10 each time you do it, requires contacting all three credit bureaus, Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion. New credit activity — fraudulent as well as legitimate — will be prevented until you lift the freeze. A fraud alert is free, and requires lenders to verify your identity before issuing new credit.