Archives for posts with tag: Michelle Singletary

Michelle Singletary published a column on May 30th titled “You can soon freeze credit at no cost, a potent tool in identity-theft fight”. Ms. Singletary has done consumers a terrific service by highlighting a provision in a recently passed law — a provision that will make it easier for consumers to put credit freezes in place.

As she reports, the free credit freezes will take effect by September 21st. Why is this such a significant change? Because up to now, consumers have had to separately pay each credit reporting agency (i.e., Experian, Equifax, TransUnion) a fee to place — and then lift — a credit freeze with each of them. These credit freezes have gained increased importance given the cascading number of major data breaches that have occurred over the last few years.

A credit freeze means that the credit reporting agency can’t release any information about a consumer without her express permission. So — in the identity theft context — this helps prevent identity thieves from opening new lines of credit using personal identifying information stolen from a consumer.

Ms. Singletary’s column contains all the key details about the upcoming changes. I urge consumers to read it and get ready to place these credit freezes if they haven’t already done so.

Michelle Singletary writes The Color Of Money column in The Washington Post. Her October 26th column was timely and insightful as she outlined various ways consumers could, but might not, be more pro-actively protecting the privacy of their personal and financial data (Protecting yourself on the Web? Probably Not; http://wapo.st/michelle-singletary).

In her column, she cited Consumer Reports November issue that has the lead story How to Protect Your Privacy Smart and easy ways to keep your data safe. Her description of this article was excellent so I read the cover story.

It is an issue and article that consumers should read ASAP! The lead article also has links to other Consumer Reports stories on this topic. I found the September 20th article titled 66 Ways to Protect Your Privacy Right Now Do one, some, or all. Each will make a difference especially useful — concrete details written well and without jargon.

Consumers should read Ms. Singletary’s October 26th column as well as the November issue of Consumer Reports and the lead and other articles. This will be time well-spent — consumers will come away equipped with the kind of information they can use to more pro-actively protect their sensitive private information.