Water and Moisture
As you can guess, water and cameras do not mesh very well. Water damage can occur in many different ways. If you are taking your camera out in rainy weather, make sure that you keep it in its’ protective camera case, or a plastic bag if no camera case is available. The same should be done if you are at the beach or pool, as the threat of accidentally dropping your camera in the water is great. Another threat comes from condensation. Sudden changes in temperature can cause moisture to build inside of your camera, like fogged up glasses. Keeping your camera in its protective camera case, can help the temperature of your camera change more gradually. This can prevent water damage to the internal workings of your camera.
Dirt and Dust
Dirt and dust can literally be found everywhere, in your house, your car, at work, or outside, even in your purses (ladies). These fine particulates can damage your lens, and if they get inside the camera, they can damage the interior workings, and the best way to avoid dust and dirt damage is to keep your digital camera away from overt situations. For example, if you are going to a horse competition on a dry, windy day. If you are going to be in a situation where dust and dirt are all around, be sure to keep the camera in its bag while not in use, and when you get home, be careful to clean the dirt from the exterior of the camera.
Damage from being dropped
Probably the most common damage to a camera is caused from being dropped. Dropping your camera can cause anything from a minor scratch to a broken lens. However, it is probably the greatest hazard to your camera. The best way to prevent dropping your camera is to make sure to use the wrist strap or neck strap that is usually provided with the camera upon purchase. When not in use, make sure to put your camera away. Just make sure to know where your camera is, and to take care of it.