Want to Instagram that boarding pass to tell the world about your next adventurous trip? Well, too bad that is one of the highly inadvisable practice when it comes to posting travel details online and the reasons behind this rule are pretty legit, too.
Steve Hui, CEO of IFlyFlat ran an experiment to find out just how much it could hurt to post a fancy picture of your boarding pass. Turns out, the booking reference on it can be used to find out detailed information of the itinerary as well as the traveler such as, seat numbers, frequent flyer details, ticket numbers, fare paid and even the last four digits of the credit card used. A hacker can use this information to make changes in the booking or even cancel the booking for a good laugh.
The apparent security concerns related to posting boarding pass online is basically the detailed information printed on it as it gives away your name, flight numbers, boarding and destination cities, times, airport, gate, seat and frequent traveler account number. However, even if you think about blurring the information before posting it on social media, the threat remains there just as much as it was before. How? Barcodes!!
Boarding pass barcodes contains the same information that the document contains, only in the disguise of numbers and any professional hacker or even an amateur one can dig out all the data from a barcodes reading website.
In simpler words, you cannot get away with posting an image of your boarding pass without giving away too much. So, if you do want the world to know about your awesome trip ahead, it is better to post one of “celebratory drinks in the lounge”, as suggested by Hui himself.
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