By Paul Kurtz

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The Equifax data breach scandal has sent millions of consumers scrambling for information about ways they can protect themselves.

Center City consumer protection attorney Jim Francis recommends implementing a credit freeze.

“A credit freeze allows a consumer to contact the credit reporting agency, in this case Equifax, Trans-Union or Experian, and require that they freeze selling any credit information to lenders or credit cards or any applicant.”

Equifax Says Data From 143 Million Americans Exposed In Hack

A freeze prevents identity thieves from being able to open up credit in the consumer’s name. If you need to open new lines of credit you’ll have to lift the freeze first.

Francis also advises that you regularly check your credit report — at least every six months. Look at the inquiry section of the report. If you don’t recognize the names of companies snooping around, find out what’s happening.