HAWAII (HawaiiNewsNow) - A new state law that went into effect on Sunday will allow Hawaii consumers to request free security freezes.
Act 22 enables Hawaii residents to request that consumer reporting agencies — like Equifax, Experian and TransUnion — place, lift, or remove a security freeze on their credit report for free.
A major benefit of a security freeze is that it restricts access to a consumer's credit file, making it harder for identity thieves to open new accounts in the consumer's name.
The new law also applies to children under the age of 16. And the law will go into effect nationwide in September under the Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer Protection Act.
Before July 1st, consumer reporting agencies could charge consumers up to $5 for each time they chose to freeze, lift, or unfreeze their credit report.
"Our residents should have the right to freeze their credit files without cost and without unnecessary hassles," said Stephen Levins, Executive Director of the Office of Consumer Protection, in a statement.
"Free credit freezes will encourage people to proactively protect themselves from becoming victims of a security breach and will help reduce identity theft in Hawaii," Levin said.