October is Cyber Security Month, so here's a friendly piece of advice from an expert on computer security, Brian Krebs: don't toss your boarding passes and don't take photos of them to display them on social media sites - the codes printed on airline boarding passes may allow someone to discover more about you, your future travel plans, and your frequent flyer account!
In his blog, KrebsonSecurity, Krebs writes about how easy it is to take a screen shot of the boarding pass you see posted on let's say Facebook or Instagram, enlarge it and look up a site online that can read the data stored inside a boarding pass barcode.
Once you have the code, this is the information you are able to get from it: traveller's name, frequent flyer number and other personally identifiable information, as well as the very valuable traveller's record locator. With this information anyone can easily proceeed to a specific flight carrier's website (for example Lufthansa or American Airlines), use the traveller's name and the record locator - and voila!
You just got easy access to unsuspecting traveller's entire account, where you can not only check any future flights, booked to his frequent flyer number, but you can also cancel them or change seats. Access also grants you traveller's phone number. Now that's pretty scary.
To avoid problems caused simply by not being a little more careful about protecting your personal data, inform yourself on internet and computer security in general. It doesn't take much, but it can save you heaps of time, money and, well, nerves, too.
Stay safe online.