How to Safely Dispose of Travel Documents

Wednesday, December 21, 2022 11:49 am, Posted by Absolute Destruction

Upon returning from a vacation, you're likely feeling relaxed, refreshed and still in 'holiday mode.' Still, the fridge will need to be restocked, beds made up, and the mental prep for heading back to work (or school) on Monday will kick in.

Amid all the hustle that comes with getting back to reality, it’s unlikely your mind will rush straight to your now-expired travel papers — and their disposal.

While it’s likely you already shred your personal documents — like bank statements and tax papers — did you know that safely disposing of your travel documents is highly important, too? Here’s why.

Your Boarding Pass

It’s somewhat apparent you should keep your boarding pass close by before you travel — crafty criminals could use your pass to modify or even cancel your flight. But, you may not have known that it’s of equal importance that you destroy your boarding pass (and its stub) once your journey is over as a good way of avoiding identity theft.

Why? Cyber thieves can utilize the QR code on modern-day boarding passes to retrieve snippets of your personal information, including: your name, phone number, and flight information. If you’re a frequent flier, they can even access your airline account, and if they do, change your password to gain control.

With this in mind, you should also refrain from posting a photo of your boarding pass to your social media accounts (not matter how tempting it is to boast about your travels!).

Your Travel Itinerary

If you printed out a thorough travel itinerary — including details like what hotel you stayed in each night, what flights you booked, and what buses you used — a cyber thief could use this information along with key financial information to gain access to your bank accounts. For example, in some instances, the purchase history on a credit card might be used to verify a bank account.

Of course, little can be done with information like what beach you visited, what note-worthy statue you wanted to see, or the name of the coffee shop you had to check out. But you may have unknowingly jotted down phone numbers, flight information or passport details in the borders while planning your day-to-day activities. If this is the case, it's essential you safely destroy this paperwork, too.

Your Vaccination Passport

Depending on where you travelled, you may have needed to provide proof of your vaccine status. While many countries are implementing an app system, you could have printed your vaccine passport out ‘just in case.’ Vaccine passports hold personal information like your name and your date of birth. Should printed copies fall into the wrong hands, details like this could be used fraudulently.

With all this information in mind, travel documents are valuable. They’re like jigsaw pieces for someone trying to compile a full profile on you. Keep your data private and confidential by recruiting a shredding company to securely destroy your travel papers — and other personal documents. Protect yourself and your family members from invasions of privacy and identity theft with Absolute Destruction!

© 2021 Absolute Destruction. All Rights Reserved.