Did you freeze your credit reports in response to news about the Equifax security breach?

Freezing your credit report can help protect your identity, but be aware that it can be a hassle if you later want to apply for a loan, because you’ll have to unfreeze it. (Chances are, just when you’re at a car dealership applying for a loan, you’ll forget that you froze your report and the loan process will come to a halt.)

When you froze your Equifax report, Equifax sent you a custom PIN that you will need later to remove the freeze. If a hacker has your personal information, that PIN might be the only thing standing between you and fraud.

But if you froze your Equifax report during the first half of September, the PIN you received from Equifax might have been simply the date and time you requested the freeze — making it easy for a hacker to guess!

Equifax no longer does this. It now distributes random PINs. So, check your Equifax PIN.

If you need to have it changed, you must mail your full name, address, Social Security number and date of birth to:

Equifax Security Freeze P.O. Box 105788 Atlanta, GA 30348

Of course, you’ll have to trust that your letter will be properly handled by both the Postal Service and Equifax.