1.3 million signed up for Experian as Sunday deadline nears

John Gaddy (WCIV)

By Stacy

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV) -- It's been five months since the governor's office announced hackers stole 3.8 million social security numbers and several thousand credit card numbers and business tax filings from the S.C. Department of Revenue.

The state offered free credit monitoring through Experian for residents. The deadline to sign up is Sunday, March 31.

Katie Meibers chose not to sign up for the credit monitoring.

"If stuff's going to{}happen, it's going to happen," the Daniel Island resident said.

Unlike her, Michael Finlayson and about 1.3 million other South Carolinians did sign up, according to the governor's office.

"If somebody tells you they screwed up and all your accounts may be at risk, and they're offering you a free watchdog, why not take the watchdog?" Finlayson said.

But Finlayson was also still angry about the hacking.

Gov. Nikki Haley's spokesman Rob Godfrey issued a statement to ABCNews4{}Friday:

"From the moment the breach was discovered, our highest priority has been fixing the problem that led to the hack and working with law enforcement, security experts and members of the General Assembly to make sure we don't find ourselves in this position again. We have made significant progress toward securing data in state government and mapping out a long term, holistic plan for IT security. But we're not going to stop until we provide South Carolina taxpayers and citizens with the best protection at the least cost and least hassle to them."

PhishLabs founder John LaCour said Haley's administration handled the issue well, once it discovered the hack. But,{}he said it should have done more to secure the information in the first place.

He advised people to sign up for the free Experian monitoring, but not to worry too much.

"From a statistical perspective, any individual person, their information is not likely to be used," LaCour said.

Meibers took note. It was a chance she was willing to take.

"I figure chances are probably slim," she said.

To protect your information, LaCour advised people to monitor credit reports and use credit cards rather than debit cards to make online purchases. He also said make sure anti virus programs are updated and keep children's online activity separate from adults' activity.