Using a laptop without antivirus software
Phones are not always the most desired devices to cybercriminals, as it turns out. According to Henderson, “laptops and other personal devices can contain personally identifiable information—credit card statements, address, employment status, account passwords, and more—that, in the hands of the bad guys, can make it easy for a cybercriminal to steal your identity.” Although you’re better off leaving your laptop behind while on vacation, Henderson recommends installing the latest antivirus software and security patches on any device that you do bring.
Purchasing items with a debit card
Tight on cash in an unfamiliar city? Don’t pull out the plastic just yet. Stores and restaurants that don’t secure their sales systems are more vulnerable to hackers who can steal your card’s digits, according to Henderson. He suggests using a credit card—which can offer more protection if it is compromised—instead of a debit card. And once you do get to an ATM, opt for one inside an airport or bank to minimize the chance of tampering or skimmers on the machine.
Logging on to shared computers
The threat of digital identity theft now reaches far beyond our own tech. These days, even online activity on public devices are valuable (and vulnerable!) to thieves. That’s why you should avoid using shared computers at hotels or internet cafes while on the road, according to Henderson. “Adversaries can install malware on them that records keystrokes and can get access to your passwords, email, bank account, or other sensitive information,” he says. Identity thieves don’t want you to know these secrets, either.