Why Hackers Love Planes, Trains, and Automobiles

Image Credit: Constantine Johnny/Moment/GettyImages

Even if we're security mavens at home, we all still have to get out in the world, and our need to stay connected doesn't stop at our front door. The great thing about the internet now is that it's omnipresent; the less great thing is that we're wide open to all kinds of scams and hacks almost everywhere we go.

It's one thing for an ATM to have a physical hack to steal your credit card information; it's quite another for point-of-sale gas pumps to do it too, which were attacked in a big way twice over the summer, according to Visa. In May, IBM Security released a study about some of the worst places for online thieves to take advantage of consumers. Other weak spots include logging onto public wi-fi, using public phone charging stations on streets or in stores, and setting your devices to autoconnect to nearby wi-fi networks. Business travelers in particular need to be careful, as IBM's study found that they're more likely than personal travelers to engage in these setups.

Security experts have a few suggestions for protecting your data. Some are simple, like using cash wherever possible and relying on your own hardware to charge a phone or tablet. For connecting to the internet, you might consider a VPN, although that could be overkill for most customers. The best thing anyone can do, regardless of how much you travel, is investing in a good password manager. It's a big world out there, but you're not helpless against it.