Why you should never post your vaccine card on social media
The day has come, you’ve finally gotten your vaccine shot and received your vaccine card! Your first impulse is to post a photo of your vaccine card to social media to celebrate this occasion with your friends and family, right? Think again! Under no circumstances should you ever post a photo of your vaccine card to social media. In fact, you should treat the text on the card as sensitive as a credit card number.
The first reason why you should never post a photo of your vaccine card is that it opens you up to potential identity theft by scammers, since it contains your name and birthdate. The second reason is that your card shows medically sensitive information, including vaccine lot number, clinic location and the brand of vaccination received. And for some people, the card contains even more info such as their medical record number. The US Department of Health & Human Services is even discouraging people from posting photos of their card online.
A criminal could attempt to call your health insurance company to learn about your medical history, prescriptions, appointments, and more. And while you may think it’s okay to post the card to social as long as the post is set to friends-only, that’s not full-proof either, since experts have long said that the people most likely to commit identity theft are friends and family.
While cybersecurity experts say they’re not aware of any widespread scams specific to vaccine cards, the root of individual identity-theft cases can often be hard to identify. And there have been COVID scams related to people pretending to be contact tracers, and websites promising vaccine appointments that don’t actually exist.
So what should you post to social media to celebrate getting vaccinated? Stick with an old-fashioned selfie, or utilize one of the “I Got Vaccinated” profile-borders that same social media platforms offer. Some vaccination sites such as Virtua Health in New Jersey are even offering a selfie-backdrop right there after you get your shot, to try and discourage folks from posting photos of their card.
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One of the most effective ways of persuading vaccine-hesitant people to take a vaccine is by having them see that people they trust are receiving the vaccine, so by all means, celebrate your vaccination on social media! Just be sure to do so in a way that doesn’t open yourself up to potential identity theft.
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