It's been one month since open enrollment started for a new, state-paid financial security service for South Carolinians at risk from last year's massive computer hacking of state income tax data at the Department of Revenue.
So far, DOR officials say more than 98,000 individuals have signed up for identity protection with CS Identity Corporation, or CSID.
That's far fewer than the initial enrollment for the previous state-provided monitoring through Experian, where four times that number signed up in just the first week.
Eventually, about 1.5-million taxpayers requested protection from Experian – still only a small portion of the more than six million individuals, their dependents and businesses at risk of ID theft.
Experts say the stolen data grows more valuable with time because people forget about what happened and let their guard down.
CSID's President Joe Ross says enrolling for protection is important and easy to do online.
“You're going to enter your name, address and then the last four of your Social (Security number), and you'll submit that,” Ross explains. “You will then match to a database that was provided by the DOR and we'll determine if you're eligible for service.”
Anyone who filed state income tax returns electronically between the years of 1998 and 2012 is eligible to enroll with CSID.
Ross continues, “Then you will go to an enrollment page that ask for some additional information such as an e-mail address, a date of birth, telephone number...and you'll be asked to create a username and password. And then we'll ask you a series of security questions, about four to five questions that will help us determine that you are who you say you are.”
Ross says you can sign up with CSID anytime over the next 10 months, but the sooner the better for maximum identity protection.
You can enroll online at www.scidprotection.com or by calling 1-855-880-2743.