Did you get away over the Eid break? We bet most of you who did are guilty of this…
There are some things we all know not to share on social media – your address, your bank account details, your passport… basically anything that makes you an identity thief’s dream target.
However did you know that one particular Instagram must-do is actually putting you in harm’s way?
When jetting off on holiday, sharing a snap of your boarding pass online has become a bit of a rite of passage in recent years. After all, who doesn’t want to boast from time to time about an exotic location they’re visiting, or that business class upgrade they managed to score? (We’re guilty of it ourselves).
Yet the seemingly innocuous image of your paper pass is doing far more than just making you the envy of your friends.
It turns out that your ticket is revealing more information than you may realise, especially thanks to those pesky barcodes and QR codes.
Not only are you advertising that your home will be unoccupied for some time, you’re also providing access to confidential details such as your address, your travel plans, your frequent flyer account, and what you paid for your trip.
And with that information, would-be cyber criminals can alter or cancel your bookings, or potentially do worse.
Steve Hui, of frequent flier site iflyflat.com.au, recently carried out a little experiment to see how much information he could gather using an image a friend had posted on social media.
The Australian Virgin Australia passenger, who was flying code-share on Delta Airlines, revealed his E-Ticket number, booking reference, and frequent flyer number on his boarding pass.
Using the passenger’s name and E-Ticket number, Hui was able to gain access to their booking on the Delta website, where he found all the passenger’s travel information, the fare paid, and the last four digits of the credit card used.
Some savvy travellers may post snaps where they cover up their full name or seat number… but that’s still not enough to protect themselves.
The barcode on boarding passes can be read using plenty of apps and websites, and that reveals all if not most of the booking information.
So, we’ll just be doing this shot instead from now on (hey, you can just boast away in the hashtags)…