Beware of the boarding pass selfie: how your vacation pics might invite hackers

Don't share photos of your boarding pass on social media, unless you want your travel plans disrupted and your personal information sold on the dark web, An article from Forbes highlights the danger of posting a selfie with your boarding pass. The magazine spoke with cybersecurity expert Robinson Jardin, who explained what could happen when you expose QR codes to the public.

Highlights from the article:

  • Posting a boarding pass selfie to social media can increase your risk of being hacked. The barcodes on these passes can be easily read with free software online and often contain contact details, reservation numbers, frequent flier numbers, and potentially even passport or driver's license numbers. This information can be sold on the dark web and used for identity theft, unauthorized credit card accounts, and fraudulent purchases.
  • Digital boarding passes, especially screenshots of the barcode, are particularly attractive to hackers.
  • Hackers can also misuse the access to frequent flier credentials, which can be exchanged for lucrative rewards. Once stolen and sold, these points are nearly impossible to recover.
  • Hackers may also use social engineering to extract more information. They may pretend to be airline representatives and ask for credit card details or other personal information.
  • Basic cybersecurity rules also include not sharing holiday photos and status updates sharing your location while you are there. It's safer to share your vacation memories once you have returned home.