Monthly Matters
Cyber-Thieves Are Out There -- Protect Yourself!
Posted on February 26, 2024 6:00 AM by Sally Dorn
I recently read an informative article in the AARP Bulletin Jan/Feb 2024 about Cyber thieves which prompted me to take steps to protect myself from these dastardly villains. 
One key way is to  “Freeze your Credit,” an action you can take with relative ease. This ‘Credit Freeze’ is controlled by yourself, requires No Fee, is temporary, and keeps those scoundrels from getting credit in your good name, which has become a common occurrence.
The process may seem a bit overwhelming, however, I just completed the task and would like to share my experience. It will take a little time and patience to set up accounts and create passwords, but you will be adding a deep layer of security, and today is the day to do it.
First, you do Not need to go through a third party; in fact, beware of those offers.  Instead, locate each of the three main credit scoring companies online:,, and  Create your account for each one separately. 
You do NOT have to pay a fee, nor sign up for a monthly charge for any of these.  The first Equifax page I saw wanted me to sign up for $29 monthly subscription, but I searched further and discovered the correct page by searching:  Equifax/freeze. 
Always look for two signs telling you you are on a Secure Site!     The top search bar should have accurate spelling and begin with https://  showing the lock icon.
Once you are on the secure page, they will ask you for your social security number, phone number, address, ALL those things that we NEVER EVER give out.  It's Okay.  They must be certain we are who we say WE are. There may also be security questions, such as “Have you ever lived at one of these addresses”  or “Have you ever owned a  Ford Mustang”… things like that.   Credit companies require your personal, sensitive information to give you a credit card and keep check on your credit score;  they see everything we do, whether we like it or not. Admittedly, typing in all that information made me pause; it went against all I’d ever been warned about, But… I checked with many trusted sources, and they reassured me that it was necessary as long as I took care to sign myself in on a secure site. If you are unsure, never be afraid to ask a trusted relative or friend for help.
Yep, more usernames, and more passwords to remember.  Create a unique Password for each of the three companies. Write them down. When you get signed up and logged in, it should be easy to see the option to Freeze Your Credit.  Click on that option, then - confirm YES.
You have just made it extremely hard for those cyber thieves to steal your identity!  This Freeze keeps an unknown person from using YOUR good credit, but it is flexible, so when the day comes that you want to buy that new chariot or open a new credit card, you will need to go online, log in with your ‘remembered’ password, and click on Unfreeze.  If, by chance, you should forget, “they” will tell you that you have a freeze in place; you simply go to your account to unfreeze until your business is complete.  
       “Someone cracked my password. Now I need to rename my puppy.” -unknown
Update: An interesting article published in the New York Times recently not only recommends freezing your credit but adds a few tips on securing your social security numbers and personal information. Click here to see the tips from the Social Security Administration
Comment By: Eileen Boudreau
Posted on March 4, 2024 9:46 AM
Thanks Sally. Great information!