In our first segment on credit, we discussed the importance of reviewing credit reports each year. Not only does this help to ensure accuracy, it also helps to protect against fraud. Utilizing a “credit freeze” is also a helpful way to protect against accounts being fraudulently opened in your name. When a credit freeze is put in place, credit bureaus will not share credit information with third parties. Credit information is almost always needed to open new credit accounts, so credit freezes can prevent identity thieves from being able to open those new accounts. Credit freezes are free to implement, but they must be implemented at each separate credit bureau (Experian, Equifax, and Transunion). If you know that you’ll be opening a new credit account or applying for a loan, a credit freeze can be temporarily lifted while going through the application process.