Ways to protect your personal information

FILE - In this July 18, 2012, file photo, a pedestrian walks past credit card logos posted on a downtown storefront in Atlanta. On Monday, Sept. 11, 2017, Equifax said it has made changes to address customer complaints since it disclosed a week earlier that it exposed vital data on about 143 million Americans. Equifax has come under fire from members of Congress, state attorneys general, and people who are getting conflicting answers about whether their information was stolen. Equifax is trying again to clarify language about people’s right to sue, and said Monday it has made changes to address customer complaints. (AP Photo/David Goldman, File)

CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP) – Consumers are being told to closely monitor their credit reports after Equifax’s data breach compromised millions personal information.

Consumers are placing credit freezes on their credit reports. But many are still unsure what that actually does.

“What they do is they give you a password or a security code and then anyone trying to access your credit for any new credit cards or loan application. They won’t be able to access it unless you give them, a lender the security code or or the password.” Brian Vosburgh

To place a freeze, on your credit report, applicants must write to each of the three consumer reporting agencies (EQUIFAX IS ONE)

Each agency may charge a fee of five dollars, unless you are a victim of identity theft and you provide the credit reporting agency with a valid police report.

Placing a credit freeze on your report can make it difficult for someone to pull a credit report and could prolong things like car purchases or renting a property. Some say that will hold off on issuing a freeze until it’s necessary..

“It’s possible. I think I’d have to see something that would eb concerning before I did that because I don’t think I was targeted.” Sam Gendron

Equifax is facing its first state law suit. Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healy is filing suit against the company.