Why you should stop posting boarding pass pictures on social media
LET’S face it, we’ve all been guilty of flooding our social media platforms with a ridiculous amount of travel-bagging posts.
Because what better way to let the world know that you’re traveling than to spam Instagram with pictures from packing your luggage to boarding your flight, to sitting in your seat and eating your in-flight meal?
One particularly popular, done-to-death travel shot is a picture of a boarding pass, sometimes tucked in between passport pages. A picture you should never post on your social media feed.
It has your personal details. And we’re not referring to the printed text listing your full name, airline, destination, flight time, flight code, and seat number.
Your boarding pass has more information about you than you think and it’s encrypted in the barcode, QR code or the six-digit code. Now, you may not know what the lines, patterns, or numbers mean, but it’s there to give airlines data about you.
And it can easily be decoded with generic free-to-use decoders like Inlite.
Hackers can find any passenger’s passenger name record (PNR) using the six-digit codes printed on boarding passes and luggage tickets, Israel-based Noam Rotem told Popular Mechanics.
Identity thieves can easily use the information to log on to your account on the airline’s website and obtain your flight information.
Not only that, but said thief will also be able to make changes to your flight or cancel it altogether, track your flight records, steal your frequent flier miles, and even get your home address. This can easily be used as a weapon to blackmail you or your loved ones.
Worse yet if your credit card number happens to be tied to your frequent flyer account.
If you want to truly protect yourself and not want to have to deal the nasty surprise of having had your identity stolen while you were cruising at 30,000 feet in the air on a long-haul flight, don’t post up that “mandatory travel shot” of your boarding pass.
There are other ways to tell the world that you’re traveling.
Also, always remember to shred or tear up your boarding pass before disposing of it. After all, it’s better to be safe than sorry.