MACON, Ga. -- In 2017, there were over 15-hundred data breaches exposing nearly 179 million consumer records, according to Experian.com.
WGXA has simple proactive and preventative ways to protect your identity, especially with summer travel.
Kelvin Collins, President and CEO of Better Business Bureau of Middle Georgia says one of the easiest ways to protect your identity is by switching your debit card for your credit card. He says using a credit card will help secure your identity better than by using a debit card.
"You're going to be able to get that money back into your account by disputing it with a credit card company, but if you're using your debit card you've given the scam artist a direct pipeline into your checking account," said Collins.
He recommends paying your credit card with debit card to avoid getting into debt.
Before you hit the road for those last minute summer trips, Collins advises alerting your credit card company of your travels. It will prevent the company from freezing your account from false fraudulent alerts.
"If you're just going across the state line, it may not be something that you have to do but if you're going to be doing a multi-state trip, it's always best to let your credit card company know," advises Collins.
The next simple thing to do before your next trip is to set up account alerts. You can do this by calling your credit card company and setting an alert for transactions.
For example, you can set up to receive a text, phone call or email every time you spend $100. If there are fraudulent charges, you will be alerted of them instantly.
And lastly, Collins recommends reviewing not only your credit card statements but also your annual credit report.
Georgia law allows you to view your credit report for free twice a year.
Collins recommends using Annual Credit Report website.
Here you can check for any fraudulent charges and review charges with your credit card companies. You can also choose the reports you choose to review and print them.
Collins advises to check the reports sooner rather than later, because if too much time passes between charges, it will be harder to dispute charges with the credit card company.