Every once in a while, online entities will post warnings about printing out your boarding pass, as opposed to using electronic methods. I read the articles because although Joe prefers to have his boarding pass on his phone, I am still very much on team Print It Out And Have A Hard Copy With You.
Anyway, in reading the posts, I discovered the issue isn’t really whether or not you print out your boarding pass. It’s what you do with your boarding pass after you’re done with it.
Forbes wrote that if you leave your boarding pass on the plane, or throw it out in the garbage can of your hotel room later on, you’re at risk for someone taking it. If whoever takes it has the right know how, they could easily hack into your account. After all, it really doesn’t take a whole lot of knowledge to learn what all those letters and numbers on your boarding pass mean. That’s why we warned people quite a while ago why they should hold onto their boarding pass until they can dispose of it properly.
While we’re talking about boarding pass safety, remember that you also should never take a photo of your boarding pass and post it online. Whether it’s on Facebook, Instagram, a blog or whatever, you don’t want to put it out there where the whole world can potentially see it (here’s some more information about that).
One other thing recommended in the Forbes article that I 100% agree with is to have two factor authentication (2FA) set up on your frequent flyer account(s). That way even if a hacker has your name and figured out your password (or how to bypass it), you’ll still have to be contacted, oftentimes by typing a code that’s sent to your cell phone, before anything can be done to/with your account.
So yeah – print your boarding pass if you want. I know I still will (probably much to Joe’s chagrin). It’s just what you do with the hard copy when you’re done with it that you have to be concerned about. That’s what those social media outlets really mean.
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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary