Want to Share Your Excitement About Receiving the COVID-19 Vaccine? Think Again
You cannot get on social media these days without seeing snapshots of COVID-19 vaccination cards. It is understandable that people are excited to share the good news when they are lucky enough to get one of the coveted vaccine doses. However, experts are strongly cautioning people to use discretion when wanting to post pictures of the vaccination confirmation card.
In fact, most recently the Better Business Bureau (BBB) issued a statement warning people to keep this information private. Here is why you should be wary of posting this sensitive information online.
Personally Identifying Information
It is important to remember that those who make a business out of identity theft are extremely adept at taking bits and pieces of information from different places and piecing them together like a puzzle. While you may not think that you are giving away a full picture of your identity on your card, it may be the missing piece that is needed to assemble a profile in your name. This information can be used to do a deeper dive and use your identity to commit fraud.
Because the vaccine cards contain your name, date of birth, and the location where you were vaccinated, these pieces alone contain a significant amount of information about your identity. In addition, scammers are adept at using birth dates to hack passwords for sensitive financial accounts. In general, the less personal identifying information that you put out there, the less likely that you are to fall victim to identity theft.
Affect Ability to Get Second Dose
With so many people desperate to get a vaccine, the information on your personal vaccination card confirmation may be used to create a fake card. This can then potentially be used to secure a dose. Not only is this illegal, but it could affect your ability to get the second dose if the system already registers that you have received that shot.
There are already reports of counterfeit versions of the vaccination cards in the UK. It is only a matter of time before these reports surface in the US. The last thing that you want during this pandemic is delay your second dose because somebody has already used your name in the system to secure a shot.
Loss of HIPAA Protection
Posting your vaccine card may also invalidate your Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) protection. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), this federal law requires that certain sensitive patient health data is guarded. However, by posting part of this protected information online, you may open yourself up to the invalidation of this HIPAA protection.
Open Yourself Up to Scammers
By advertising that you have already received the first dose, you also may open yourself up to scammers trying to prey on your desire to get the second dose of the vaccine. All it takes is one scammer to call the trusting individual ready to get their second dose and convince them that they need to pay over the phone. The next thing that you know, the scammer has valuable credit card information. Do not underestimate how low some people will go to obtain this data.
What to Do Instead
For now, the best thing that you can do is to keep your vaccine card off of social media. You should avoid texting it to anyone if you think it may be shared. Feel free to spread the word about the importance of vaccinations and to share your good news. Just do so without making a copy of the vaccine card the main event. Perhaps you want to post a picture of your band-aid or create a frame to share that you are vaccinated. There are loads of ways to share this good news without compromising your personal security in the process.
If you have already shared this information, it is a prudent idea to go back and delete the post so that it is not still out there. This is also a good reminder to regularly check the security settings on all of your social media accounts as well as to change your password frequently.
Other Featured Posts
10 Ways to Combat Work Stress
Everyone experiences a lot of stress at work. Whether you work for someone else or are self employed, job stress can be overwhelming. Stress on the job is not only something that can trouble you. It also wears you down and reduces your effectiven...READ MORE
10 Habits That Will Dramatically Improve Your Life
Everyone experiences a slump now and then, or finds themselves not where they want to be in life. Changing your mindset begins with changing your habits and behaviors. Cultivating these habits helps you move toward a more ful...READ MORE
Financial Wisdom We Received from Our Moms
While economists spend years learning the intricacies of our monetary system, many will tell you that some of the best financial advice they received was from their parents. Mothers can be particularly adept at instilling fiscal resp...READ MORE
7 Strategies to Help You Function Within Your Means Without Feeling Limited
Living within your means equates to spending equal or less than what you have coming in monthly. But for many individuals, it can be difficult to adhere to that age-old adage. Credit cards, emergency ...READ MORE