NORWALK - An identity theft expert told News 12 that he believes it’s only a matter of time before retailers are required to encrypt their customers’ personal information.

Target and Neiman Marcus were breached in December. Officials say 70 million Target customers were put at risk after hackers stole credit card information and personal data.

advertisement | advertise on newsday

“It's irresponsible to not protect the financial information, the personal information, of your customers,” says expert Jeff Helfand. “It's so easy to encrypt all this data. Why would you not?”

Helfand suggests paying close attention to credit card statements. He also recommends frequently changing online logins and passwords.

Helfand says it doesn't hurt to put fraud alerts on credit cards.