Equifax Will Let All Consumers Lock Their Credit for Free, for Life
Equifax knows that it messed up big time, and its new interim CEO is trying to earn back the public's trust. Paulino do Rego Barros Jr., the credit rating agency's new boss as of this week, wrote an op-ed in The Wall Street Journal on Wednesday apologizing for the company's massive data breach, when hackers gained access to the sensitive information of more than 143 million Americans.
On just his second day on the job since Richard Smith quit on Tuesday, Barros apologized to every consumer affected by the hack and offered some solutions. In the near term, Barros said Equifax's responsibility is to provide timely, reassuring support to all affected customers. As for the longer-term plan, the company will focus on giving consumers the power to protect and control access to their personal credit information. This will come, he explained, in the form of being able to lock and unlock your credit file as much as you want for free, for life.
The service will be offered to all consumers by January 31, 2018. There will be no fee and no limit to how many times you lock and unlock your file. According to Barros, the new service will be "reliable, safe and simple."
The interim CEO is also extending the deadlines for some customer-friendly account options. Now, through the end of January, you'll be able to sign up for free credit freezes with Equifax. In addition, the sign-up period for the company's TrustedID Premier service has been extended through the end of January.
"There is no magic cure for data breaches," Barros wrote. "As we all know, every organization is at risk. When consumers have access to our new service, however, the cybercrime business will become a lot more difficult, and we are committed to doing what we can to help millions of consumers rest easier."