For some reason, folks feel the need to post everything about their lives on social media. From the way they cook their eggs, to their exercise routine, to how much of an amazing time they had at Primark. But people also seem to have an affinity for posting sensitive documents on the internet. Individuals are always absent-mindedly, or intentionally uploading pictures of their debit cards, or even ID cards. But did you know that posting your COVID-19 vaccination card could have dire consequences, too?
Experts are warning people not to upload photos of their COVID-19 vaccination cards on social media.
It seems even crazy that someone would need to be told not to do this, but that's the day and age we're living in. While it might seem like a bit much, it is understandable why someone would upload said vaccination card online. Maybe their Instagram is linked to their Tinder profile and they want to put out there to any prospective romantic partners that they won't be giving them the 'rona.
Or maybe they just want to lord over the fact that they were able to get their hands on a vaccine that's still in very short supply, bragging about the show like it's a pair of limited-release Supreme clothing items.
Whatever the logic is behind someone's decision to post their vaccination card on social media, the Better Business Bureau is strongly urging folks against doing just that.
In an interview with Good Morning America, Director of Communications for the BBB said, "When you release a photo of that card, it has your personal, identifiable information. It's got your date of birth and your first and last name."
Savvy identity thieves don't really need much information to get started on pilfering your ID online. If they have your date of birth and first and last name, they could potentially get to work to find other info.
Using that, they could perform a search to find your mailing address. If a scammer is able to get their hands on a piece of mail that's sent to your address, they could potentially use that info then to reset passwords for various accounts or phish for even more information, or even apply for credit cards, launch new cell phone lines, etc.
"With that information, there are some unsavory individuals out there that are going to take that and they're going to try to open up credit cards, buy cell phones, go shopping online," Sandra said.
There's also another issue with uploading photos of your vaccination card: you could be helping scammers with another side hustle.
By uploading pictures of what the cards look like, you're giving more data to scammers to figure out how to make their own counterfeit vaccination cards. Let's say there's a particular industry that's hiring people who have been vaccinated for a particularly sensitive job.
Or let's say down the line you won't be required to wear a mask if you've been vaccinated.
What if someone's walking around with a fake vaccination card to get that particular job, or maybe they simply don't want to wear a mask? Your upload of that card may have helped a scammer perfect their counterfeit one.
So how do I encourage other people to get vaccinated online without uploading a photo of my vaccine card?
If you want to show your support for the COVID-19 vaccine and want to encourage others to sign up for their shots, the CDC suggests people post photos of stickers or buttons that say, "I've been vaccinated!" or "I got my COVID-19 vaccine!"
Sandra continued by urging people to be extra careful with their personal data, especially during the pandemic. "Sadly this is the type of situation that scammers look for. We're in the middle of a pandemic, there's a lot of information going out right now from a lot of different sources, people are kind of wary on where they find the correct information and how they get the vaccine."