How to keep your information safe when online shopping

(Image: Shutterstock)

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — According to the National Retail Federation, more people are expected to shop online than ever before this holiday season. An average person will do about half of their shopping online and spend about $400.

When you go to check out online, often times you’re required to create an account with a password and it saves your credit card information, but experts say hackers are getting smarter every year. So, how can you keep information safe?

“Letters, both capital and small letter, numbers, and special characters,” said Curt Esser, Esser Consulting LLC.

According to online security company Bit9, a hacker could guess an eight character lowercase password in three-and-a-half minutes.

Add an uppercase letter to that, it’d take the hacker 15 hours.

And add a special character to that, it’d take the hacker 70 days to figure it out.

“The longer the better, and the more complex the better,” said Esser.

Identity thieves are also getting better at hiding their crime, at first.

“They usually start with a very small purchase like a dollar, just to make sure that it works. Once that small purchase goes through, then they’re going to turn around and buy some big ticket items,” said Susan Back, BBB.

That’s why the BBB says it’s important to check your credit card statements and contact your credit card company if you see any unexpected charges.

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