In my book, Happily Ever Cyber!, I share seven cyber stories from people who learned lessons about how to protect their cyber world.
Michelle’s story is about her credit card being stolen by a Cybermonster, and how that put her thousands of dollars in debt!
As a military wife, she didn’t know what to do because her husband was deployed overseas, and she had no way to contact him or stop the scammers from stealing her money.
Her credit score was also impacted by this fraud, and it took many months to get back to normal again.
Placing a Freeze On Your Credit Score
Placing a freeze on your credit score can help your score be protected so that if an unfortunate incident were to happen (like hackers getting into your accounts) you would be less impacted by it.
A credit score freeze is helpful because it adds an extra step to verify and validate your identity on your most sensitive accounts before granting new credit under your name.
This is a free service and it doesn’t impact your credit score in a negative manner. You’ll still be able to open new accounts, though you’ll have to lift the freeze temporarily in order to do so.
All you need to do is contact each of the 3 major credit bureaus separately and provide your SSN, birthday, and personal information. You’ll be given a password, which is what you’ll also use to unfreeze your credit when needed. Easy!
What Michelle found out is that you can actually place an Active Duty Alert on your credit report if you are on active military duty. You can share this tip with friends you may know that are in the military, or have loved ones in the military. This way they have one less thing to worry about as they serve the country.
Other Ways to Protect Your Credit
In addition to putting a freeze on your credit score, you may try activating alerts for your credit cards and bank accounts. This way, you will receive a text or an email every time these accounts are accessed and used.
Make sure to check often, so you can identify if someone is performing a fraudulent transaction and you can take action immediately.
You can also pair your credit score freeze with using an authenticator app that will give you a new code every time you try to log on, or a service that sends you an authentication code via email or text message.
Have you ever put a freeze on your credit score? Share your experience with others below.