On March 30, hackers cracked the password on a server at the Utah Department of Technology Services, compromising the private information of as many as 780,000 Utahn residents. Whether you're one of the victims or just concerned about safeguarding your private information, you may want to consider a credit "freeze."
It's one of the best ways to thwart identity thieves. When you freeze, or lock, your credit file, you are making it extremely difficult for crooks to apply for new credit accounts using your information. They simply can't access your file. In Utah, you'll have to pay $10 to each credit-reporting bureau each time you freeze or lock your credit file. You can do this online.
Once your file is locked, you'll be assigned a PIN number that you can use to temporarily unlock your file while applying for a loan, credit card, cell phone contract or new utility account. Each time you temporarily unlock your file for a day or two, you'll have to pay $10 to each bureau.