In lieu of several recent incidents of identity theft affecting various members of The School of Law and The University of South Carolina’s community as a whole, we felt it extremely important to remind you to take every precaution to protect your identity and that of your family’s.
The protection offered to South Carolinians after the huge data breach during 2013 and 2014 expired at the end of 2014 contract period. It was then up to each individual to renew their identity protection either through the existing company, Lifelink, at a cost, or change to CSID, for continued free protection for up to one additional year.
The data hacking in South Carolina affected an estimated 3.6 million social security numbers, 3.3 million bank account numbers, 387,000 credit card records, and information for nearly 700,000 businesses.
The state agreed to pay up to $12 million to enroll those who had filed state tax returns in a credit-monitoring service provided by Experian, called ProtectMyID. The deadline for enrolling in this was January 31, 2013.
Once the year of free protection ended, the state gave the option of continuing with Experian for a fee or switching to CSID for an additional free year. There is currently no news as to wheather the state will pay for and extention for another year.
Many people never renewed under either plan. Unfortunately, the theives were waiting for us to become comfortable and to believe that we were past the point of harm. It’s recently become apparent that we are still highly at risk.
If you aren’t currently protected, consider enrolling in the free plan until you can research the companies providing identity protection and pick one more suitable to your needs. Enrollment is still available; however, this free subscription will end October 1, 2016. Go the the following link and register each individual in your household:
It is also important to contact each of the three Credit Bureaus and place a fraud alert or security freeze on your credit files. The website below list gives you a list along with current contact information:
If you have a business that will be affected, you should contact Dun & Bradstreet Credibility Corporation for instructions on what to do using the following information:
Call 1-800-279-9881 to complete the process with a live agent. Hours of Operations: Monday – Friday: 8:00 a.m. -8:00 p.m. EST.
Go to their website at www.DandB.com/SC
The South Carolina Department of Consumer’s Affairs is an excellent place to get information about protecting your identity and where you should begin if you are a victim. Please refer to the following link:
The program, Identity Finder, is available through the Law School’s IT Department for use per request. This program scans your hard drive for any reference to personal identifiers such as social security numbers, driver’s license numbers, bank account information, etc. and will give you the option to shred these documents, or encrypt them. IT will provide documentation and training as needed. The program displays as follows:
Remember that as long as millions of South Carolinian’s personal information was compromised, we could be affected for years to come. Protect yours and your family’s identity at all cost.