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Why You Should Keep A Tighter Grip On Airline Boarding Passes


We leave them in coat pockets. We use them as bookmarks. We stuff them in between the flight safety card and the motion sickness bag. But you might want to keep a tighter grip on your airline boarding passes.


That's the advice of Brian Krebs who runs the website krebsonsecurity.com. He says along with your name and flight number, there's a barcode that could hold more sensitive information.

BRIAN KREBS: You could sort of look at this thing, and it's just a blob of black and white information. You don't know what it says, but in fact, it's really easy to figure out what it says.

SIEGEL: Someone in the know can scan it and access frequent flyer numbers and the code to your flight reservations.

KREBS: You may be actually able to not only view their current and future flights but, in some cases, even cancel those trips.

SIEGEL: Sometimes that information is printed right on the pass.

MCEVERS: Krebs says while security screening at the airport has increased, online reservation security hasn't.

KREBS: Many airlines have fallen way behind in beefing up the security of their websites and how they authenticate their customers online.

MCEVERS: So after you unpack, take that boarding pass, and...

KREBS: Put it in the shredder or the fireplace.

SIEGEL: Or, Krebs says, just download the boarding pass on your phone. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.