equifax lock and alert app


Equifax releases new security app to win back trust, fails miserably

The company is just one endless spinning wheel of death.


Phillip Tracy


Published Feb 1, 2018   Updated May 22, 2021, 2:26 am CDT

Equifax’s software woes have continued into 2018 with the release of a broken security app. Called Lock & Alert, the new free service was designed to make it easy for users to lock their credit score. It came weeks after the company was hit with a massive data breach that exposed the personal information of 143 million users.

If successful, the lock feature functions similarly to a credit freeze but doesn’t cost a penny and can be done from a smartphone instead of using a 10-digit PIN. While that sounds like something you might want—especially after the data breach—Equifax hasn’t yet proved it has its act together.

New York Times reporters Tara Siegel Bernard and Rob Lieber gave the app a spin shortly after it was released. If you’ve been paying any attention to Equifax in the past few months, you could probably guess what happened next.

Their test failed. Miserably.

After painstakingly filling out all the required information, the Times journalists slid the “lock your account” icon—the final step in the process—only to be met with a spinning wheel of death. Ten seconds later, nothing. After 90 more seconds, still no change. They were eventually kicked back out to the sign-in screen.

Extra determined to protect themselves from Equifax’s incompetence, the reporters reached out to the company and let them know about the problem. A spokesperson reportedly told them issue had been resolved and that it was an isolated incident.

But it didn’t seem to be. Multiple failed attempts later, and the journalists resorted to a credit freeze, which is free with Equifax through June.

Whether Equifax will fix its mistakes post-Times report is yet to be seen. Regardless, it still has a long way to go to win back customer trust.

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*First Published: Feb 1, 2018, 3:21 pm CST