NEW YORK -- Whether it's trying to get the best Black Friday deals in stores, or online in the comfort of your own home, millions of us will start our holiday shopping this weekend.
Regardless of where you shop, how you shop could play a big role in protecting your personal information.
This year, credit cards have updated security features to try and keep criminals at bay, but some people still prefer using cash.
Lieutenant Timothy Fenfert at the NYPD's special Fraud Squad recently told PIX11's Mary Murphy that credit card crooks are targeting ATMs more than they have in past years.
"Year to date we've seen an increase of 58 percent," Fenfert said. "What I like to do is every time I go to an ATM machine, I give the card slot a tug."
Experts also recommend setting up alerts for purchases over $25 on your card, avoiding credit cards that are tied to your bank account, and, if you're shopping online make sure you have strong passwords.
Of course if that sounds like too much hassle you could always follow the lead of Melanie Mentz.
"I am not shopping and I am going to donate all of the money to charity," said Mentz. "I think we need that, we don't need any more possessions in our life."