Why Posting Photos Of Your Boarding Pass Online Isn't A Good Idea

People can acquire sensitive information just from a photo of your boarding pass.

Cover image via Huffington Post

Some of us might have done this before.

When you're excited about your hard-earned holiday, you might be tempted to post a photo of your boarding pass to social media, especially when no one else is on a vacation. ;)

But flexing your boarding pass for the gram' is actually really dangerous. Why? Because the information printed on your boarding reveals a lot more than you think.

The two-dimensional barcodes and QR codes can hold a great deal of information about you, your future travel plans, and your flight account.

Brian Krebs, a well-known blogger on cybercrime and Internet security, gave an example on how easy it is to acquire information from an airplane boarding pass:

Brian Krebs.

Image via New York Times

In his blog post, he wrote of a reader named Cory who became curious about a friend's boarding pass uploaded to Facebook. After which, he decided to extract information from it as an experiment.

The reader took a screenshot of the boarding pass and found a website to decode the contained information about the passenger

The website Cory used to decode the boarding pass.

Image via Online Barcode Reader

The information included the passenger’s name, frequent flyer number and other “personally identifiable information”.

“I then proceeded to Lufthansa’s (the airline) website and using his last name (which was encoded in the barcode) and the record locator was able to get access to his entire account. Not only could I see this one flight, but I could see ANY future flights that were booked to his frequent flyer number," the reader said.

A travel news blog, The Winglet, suggests blurring out sensitive information if you must upload a photo of your boarding pass

Image via ABC News

As for your unneeded boarding passes, it is advised that you shred them rather than throwing it away as the data stored in it can still be accessed.

Pretty scary isn't it? A stranger can just screencap your boarding pass, run it on a website, and get a whole lot of personal information about you.

Image via Hypable

So be careful when uploading documents that contain personal information, guys!

Staying on topic, do you know what happens if you don't switch on airplane mode when flying?

Ever wondered why airplane windows are round and not square?