FILE - This July 21, 2012, file photo shows signage at the corporate headquarters of Equifax Inc., in Atlanta. Equifax will pay up to $700 million to settle with the Federal Trade Commission and others over a 2017 data breach that exposed Social Security numbers and other private information of nearly 150 million people. The proposed settlement with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, if approved by the federal district court Northern District of Georgia, will provide up to $425 million in monetary relief to consumers, a $100 million civil money penalty, and other relief. (AP Photo/Mike Stewart, File)
FILE - This July 21, 2012, file photo shows signage at the corporate headquarters of Equifax Inc., in Atlanta. Equifax will pay up to $700 million to settle with the Federal Trade Commission and others over a 2017 data breach that exposed Social Security numbers and other private information of nearly 150 million people. The proposed settlement with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, if approved by the federal district court Northern District of Georgia, will provide up to $425 million in monetary relief to consumers, a $100 million civil money penalty, and other relief. (AP Photo/Mike Stewart, File)

Freezing your credit report can help protect your money and credit

Protecting your credit is more important than ever in light of this week’s Equifax hacking charges.

Nearly half of all American’s personal information could be in the hands of the Chinese government after a company designed to keep your credit safe did just the opposite.

The Chinese military allegedly stole private data from about 145 million Americans in 2017.

One way to protect your money and overall credit is a credit freeze. That prevents lenders from pulling your credit report, which also blocks hackers from opening new accounts in your name.

You are allowed to freeze and unfreeze your credit, without penalty, under federal law.

You can freeze your credit with all three major credit bureaus.

For Equifax: www.equifax.com/personal/credit-report-services/

For Experian: www.experian.com/freeze

For TransUnion: www.transunion.com/credit-freeze  

Reporter:Therese O'Shea
Writer:Lincoln Saunders
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