A freeze goes a step further than a credit monitoring or fraud alert service. Those generally notify you of suspicious activity after it happens.
But under current state laws, there is often a fee to place and lift a credit freeze Most security freezes cost between $2 and $10, though several states have already made them free.
Plus, you'd need to place a freezeon credit reports at all three credit rating agencies — Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion — and pay a fee at each of them.
The new legislation will make placing, lifting, and permanently removing freezes free no matter where you live. It also requires consumer rating companies to fulfill your request within one business day if made online or over the phone, and within three business days if requested by mail.
The changes will take effect about four months after the bill is signed.
To set up your own credit freezes, go to the freeze page at each credit agency's website individually: Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion. You will be given a PIN that you'll need to lift or remove the freeze in the future.
Often there is no charge for victims of identity fraud to add or lift a security freeze. After the data breach, Equifax made freezes free for everyone until June 2018.