Monday, November 18, 2013

SC Credit Monitoring Update

If you were affected by last year’s South Carolina Department of Revenue security breach (SCDOR), be sure to enroll in the free credit monitoring service that opened enrollment on October 24th. The State of South Carolina has signed a year contract with CSID, a leading provider of comprehensive identity protection. 

All eligible SC Taxpayers may enroll at www.scidprotection.com or by calling 855-880-2743.

Once you enroll yourself, be sure to add your minor child or children. As a courtesy the state is offering Child Monitoring coverage through CSID for children under age 18, for up to 12 months. This coverage allows you to monitor any addresses and aliases associated with your child’s Social Security Number, and see if your child’s personal information is being bought or sold online.
Be sure to watch out though; last year’s provider of ID protection, Experian, is still sending offers to extend their identity protection services to SC Taxpayers for 99 cents a month, despite the free protection offered by the state through CSID. Experian would make about $18 million if all of the 1.5 million affected taxpayers who signed up last year with them took the offer.
Check with SCDOR at http://www.sctax.org/security.html for updates. The state is anticipating that it may have to pay for taxpayer protection for years.

Further Security Tips

As a preventative and an effective layer of security, our experts here at FSI advise not to pay out for protection, but rather freeze your own credit report and self-monitor. Credit freezes are one of the most effective tools against ID theft available to consumers.  And it is completely free!

Make sure any online websites where you input sensitive information is secure. A good indicator of a secure website is an https versus http web address. If you're just browsing the web and not entering any sensitive information, http is fine. However, on pages where you enter your password, credit card number, or other financial information, you should always look for the https prefix. Additionally, never store your information, specifically passwords or Social Security Numbers, on Internet browsers.

Identity manipulation and theft victimizes more than 15 million United States residents each year. That is SEVEN percent of all adults, with financial losses totaling near $50 billion. ID and credit protection is important. By taking the time to secure your credit, you will save yourself from the havoc, time, stress, and expense it takes to resolve ID theft.

Written by: Sarah Cornwall, Marketing Resources, at Family Services, Inc.

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