Residents can enroll in free credit monitoring protection beginning today with CSIdentify Corporation.

After S.C. Department of Revenue tax data was compromised in a security breach last year, the department implemented new processes to strengthen its security. The state contracted with Experian to provide identity protection services to the more than 3.8 million individuals whose information was compromised, but the contract expires at the end of this month.

The state recently awarded a contract to CSIdentify Corporation to continue credit monitoring and identification protection services for the residents and businesses affected by the data breach.

For those whose personal information was hacked, eligibility exists up to one year to receive CSID's Identity Protection coverage.

S.C. Sen. Tom Young, R-Aiken, said the most important thing individuals need to do is simply sign up.

“I think the most important thing that people need to understand is that they have to be proactive in signing up beginning (today),” Young said. “They can sign up either through the Internet on the website or by calling the telephone number. Just because they did it last year with Experian, doesn't mean they will automatically be protected with the new company.”

The state will pay $8.5 million for the first year of the CSID contract with the option to renew for four additional one-year periods at the state's discretion. The Experian contract the past year was for $12 million.

Individuals who signed up last year with Experian must also sign up again with CSID because the service will not transfer between the companies.

Individuals can renew with Experian for 99 cents per month if they so choose.

Identity protection includes credit monitoring, child monitoring, CyberAgent, court records and noncredit loans. A change of address, sex offender reports, Social Security number trace, identity theft insurance and identity restoration will also be covered.

Coverage is available for eligible taxpayers, adults 18 years of age and older, as well eligible adult dependents.

Businesses are also eligible for protection if they filed taxes within the state between 1998 and 2012. The service helps a business watch for data compromise and helps prevent and mitigate data breach. For those who wish to purchase their own protection service, a portion deduction can come from the cost from the state income taxes.

“Everyone just needs to know they need to sign up because if they don't, they won't be protected by the service,” Young said.

For more information on signing up, visit or call 855-880-2743.

Maayan Schechter is the city beat reporter with Aiken Standard. An Atlanta native, she has a mass communications-journalism degree from the University of North Carolina Asheville.