Millions of Americans are being warned to keep a close eye on their personal information after a major security breach.

Identity theft is a crime on the rise.

Blue Earth County Attorney Pat McDermott said, "Easier for people to obtain information, to hack peoples' different accounts, to set up different credit from banks or credit card companies in other people's names."

And a security breach starting this May through July has the possibility to impact more than 143 million Americans, putting a trove of information at risk.

EideBailly Computer Forensics Manager Brook Schaub said, "Their date of birth, their name, social security numbers, in some cases their driver's license."

Even though the credit agency Equifax learned about the breach at the end of July, the company didn't make it public until early September.

Brook Schaub, manager of Computer Forensics and eDiscovery at EideBailly, says it could take some time before the full effect is felt.

Schaub said, "Doesn't mean that this week if you don't see any activity that you're okay, you're out of the woods. It could be six months this stuff could be for sale on the dark web could be a year from now."

The company has set up a way for people to check if their information might be at risk by heading over to, clicking on "potential impact" and entering their last name and part of their social security number.

It comes back with a reply on whether the hack might affect their identity, and allows people to sign up for free credit monitoring. But experts say this is only a first step.

Schaub said, "Whatever credit cards you have and whatever bank accounts you have, you have to look at those pretty intensively just to make sure there isn't any fraud."

People can also take the steps of freezing their credit making it more difficult for people to open new accounts in your name to reviewing copies of their credit reports to fraud alerts from the three major credit bureaus.

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--KEYC News 12