Even a credit freeze isn't guaranteed to stop identity theft. As the Federal Trade Commission points out, a credit freeze may not stop misuse of your existing accounts or some other types of identity theft. Criminals, like those in the Target case, can just steal the information for existing accounts and misuse it before you find out. Also, companies that you do business with would still have access to your credit report for some purposes.
If you're worried about data breaches, a security freeze may give you some comfort, Hendricks said.
"The situation with Target is we know the breach was by bad guys," he said. "So if you aren't going to be applying for credit anytime soon, consider getting a security freeze."
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