Credit freeze stops identity theft cold (link broken, so it was removed):
But the landscape is improving with security freezes, a safeguard promoted by Consumers Union (the nonprofit publisher of Consumer Reports) and other consumer groups that has been adopted in 37 states, including California, and the District of Columbia.
A freeze essentially locks up the information needed to conduct a credit check, and creditors won’t open new accounts without that check. An imposter will be foiled, but you can lift the freeze using a PIN if you want to open new accounts. A security freeze provides much stronger protection than the fraud alert currently available under federal law.
Credit bureaus also make big bucks from selling to consumers more expensive credit-monitoring services, which are unnecessary, especially when a security freeze is in place. Consumers Union has asked the Federal Trade Commission to help inform consumers about security freezes.
See if your state has protected citizens or is not doing what it should: credit freeze status by state.