Don’t Share Your Vaccine Card on Social Media

Illustration for article titled Dont Share Your Vaccine Card on Social Media

Photo: Andre_MA (Shutterstock)

As more people receive the vaccine, we’re also seeing more of them post photos of their vaccine cards to social media. After all that waiting, it makes sense to celebrate and share the news—but the Better Business Bureau (BBB) is now warning people not to post photos of their vaccine cards online, as it will lead to an increase in counterfeit cards and identity theft.

The cards contain private information, including your full name, birthday, where you got your shot, who gave it to you, and the date of the vaccination, all of which could be used by scammers to create fake vaccine cards. (The warning comes after scammers in the UK were caught selling fake vaccination cards on eBay and TikTok).

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Scammers can also use this information to open credit cards in your name. Since they already have your name and your birthdate, all they need is your social security number—which might be floating around on the dark web—and your address, which is usually pretty easy to find online. Also, consider that information like your birth date or middle name are often answers to security questions on bank accounts and other important log-ins.

If you’ve already posted your card to social media, the BBB encourages you to take the picture down. They also suggest these tips for sharing vaccine news safely on social media:

  • Share your vaccine sticker or use a profile frame instead. If you want to post about your vaccine, there are safer ways to do it. You can share a photo of your vaccine sticker or set a frame denoting your vaccination status around your profile picture on Facebook.
  • Review your security settings. Check your security settings on all social media platforms to see what you are sharing and with whom. If you only want friends and family to see your posts, be sure that’s how your privacy settings are configured.
  • Be wary of answering popular social media prompts. Sharing your vaccine photo is just the latest social trend. Think twice before participating in other viral personal posts, such as listing all the cars you’ve owned (including makes/model years), favorite songs, and top 10 TV shows. Some of these “favorite things” are commonly used passwords or security questions.

Another tip: If you lose your vaccination card, visit the CDC’s website and subcribe to VaxText, which will text you a reminder when it’s time to get your second dose of the vaccine. (You can also contact your local public health department if you lose your vaccine card).

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