Are you in the habit of printing out your boarding pass before heading to the airport? That little habit could be putting you at risk for having all of your loyalty miles stolen. The problem is that it's so easy to lose track of our boarding pass once we've made our way to an airplane seat.

Are you guilty of using a boarding pass as a bookmark, tucking a boarding pass into a seat pocket before forgetting about it or tossing a boarding pass into a garbage bin once you're in your hotel room? All of those things could be risky. What's more, some travelers excitedly snap photos of their boarding passes to share on social media. This is also very dangerous!

What could a criminal or hacker do with an exposed boarding pass? You could see all of those loyalty miles you've worked so hard to accumulate vanish in the blink of an eye if you post a photo of your pass to social media. That's because a pass contains your name, your booking reference number and your loyalty number. Those are the three things a hacker needs to steal your points or miles! The fact that very few people actually monitor their loyalty accounts the way they monitor their bank accounts makes stealing miles and points an irresistible crime for hackers.

What do hackers do with the points and miles they steal? Very few actually use them. Most hackers sell the stolen miles on the Internet at bargain prices. The going rate for 100,000 points for most airlines is around $884. Stolen points can be hard to track because they can be turned into travel or gift cards.

Don't want to see your miles posted for sale somewhere in a dark corner of the Internet? Skip a printed pass, never share photos of your boarding pass and use a strong password for your loyalty account!

Scott Dylan is a contributing writer at and has been to (almost) every country in North, Central and South America with nothing more than a backpack, a laptop and the desire to explore. He speaks Spanish fluently and has logged enough time in planes, trains, rideshares, buses, taxis and rickshaws to know how to rack up rewards and points to get anywhere his heart desires for pennies on the dollar. Email: