When we fly, it is a necessity to have a boarding pass, because without it we cannot get on the plane. Once we boarded, many of us become more careless with its whereabouts, because we are done with it. Sometimes we put it in the seat pocket in front of us, or we just throw it.
I never realized that being so careless with the boarding pass could potentially get me into so much trouble. According to ‘Krebs on Security”, there is a ton of personal information encrypted on the boarding pass.
An unscrupulous person could take a screen shot of the bar code on the boarding pass, and feed it into a bar code reader on “Inlite’s” site. Forensic expert for CBS, Winston Krone, says that some of the encrypted information can include personal email addresses, home addresses and phone numbers.
It was a simple show and tell, an exercise to show just how vulnerable a traveler’s personal information is if they’re careless with their boarding pass. The QR code is on every boarding pass. If passengers drop it, leave it on the plane or ditch it in an airport trash can, a hacker can use a bar scanning app on any smartphone to get your name, phone number, frequent flyer number and flight information all of which can be used to access an account and reset the pin number.
And it’s not limited to paper boarding passes, the scanner can also read QR codes off of a cell phone screen, so don’t take a picture of it and tweet it, or post it to Facebook or Instagram.
So how do you protect yourself? It’s easy. Don’t leave your boarding pass on the plane and throw it out, because if the hacker can find it, he can find you.