Expert weighs in on S.C.'s security breach, protecting yourself - WCIV-TV | ABC News 4 - Charleston News, Sports, Weather

Expert weighs in on S.C.'s security breach, protecting yourself

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Photo/Rebecca Lamb (WCIV) Photo/Rebecca Lamb (WCIV)

by Stacy Jacobson
sjacobson@abcnews4.com

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV) -- Ford Dyas, 22, is not a stranger to online criminal tricks.

"An FBI pop-up comes up, shows my picture and tells me I could be sent to jail for up to three years or fined," he said. "And then, I read at the bottom and it says, 'or I could leave my credit card number right here.'"

South Carolina's Department of Revenue is dealing with an online disaster this month of a much bigger scale. Millions could be affected, officials said. John LaCour owns PhishLabs, a company that helps e-commerce stores and banks protect customers from online crimes. He gives the state a mixed review for how it's dealt with the problem.

"It took them a while to report this info which is always a concern. However, they have done smart things offering credit-monitoring service," LaCour said.

That credit-monitoring service is Experian, which places a fraud alert on your credit report. If you're worried about protecting yourself moving forward, he has more tips.

"Be wary about telephone calls who could be fraudulent people pretending to be legitimate companies you do business with. And you want to keep a close eye on your credit report," LaCour said.

One of the easiest ways to protect yourself is basic; shred any document with your personal information, he said.

"All the information someone would need to supply for a credit application is what you should be most diligent about protecting," LaCour said.

Brandon Siders, a financial advisor says having a guy like him around could also weed out potential problems.

"We keep client data two ways," Siders said. "We keep it locked here in different file cabinets in secure areas and also data encrypted through our Dallas Fort Worth headquarters. So, it's safe in two different functions.

"I may have to be a lot more careful in the future," Dyas said.

LaCour recommended being most vigilant in protecting your social security number, address and employer.

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