Cabaero: Don’t post vax card on social media

·3 min read

THE usual response to someone who has been fully vaccinated against the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) is of congratulations for taking the step to getting protected.

There is reason to be happy that the person who had two doses is now protected against having a severe case or even dying of Covid-19. This person can still get infected but the symptoms will remain mild, based on studies done on the efficacy of vaccines.

With more people getting inoculated, expect the number of vaccination posts on social media to grow. Their celebratory poses on Facebook also help spread awareness and address the hesitance of others to get protection against the virus.

When they get their second dose to complete the regimen, their pictures change a bit. In addition to showing rolled-up sleeves and the injection site, some of those fully vaccinated proudly display their vaccination cards complete with all the personal details. That’s a big no-no in this age of identity theft and online scamming.

The information on the card varies depending on where you get your vaccination. But the common details are the name, address, date of birth, your phone number and information on your first and second doses such as when and where you had them, vaccine manufacturer (Sinovac, AstraZeneca, etc.), lot number of the vial and a QR (quick response) card containing your digitized data.

These details, together with whatever other online information they may get on you, can be used for criminal purposes. Making public such information could put you at risk of identity theft.

The United States Federal Trade Commission (FTC) issued on Feb. 5, 2021, a consumer advisory against the posting of photos of vaccination cards on social media. “Some of you are celebrating your second Covid-19 vaccination with the giddy enthusiasm that’s usually reserved for weddings, new babies and other life events. You’re posting a photo of your vaccination card on social media. Please — don’t do that! You could be inviting identity theft,” it said. (See www.consumer.ftc.gov/blog/2021/02/social-media-no-place-covid-19-vaccination-cards)

It explained that identity theft is like a puzzle, made up of pieces of personal information. You give your date of birth on your vaccination card, scammers can use that and search for your other personal details to do what they want with your information such as opening accounts in your name.

Completing your Covid-19 vaccination is indeed a reason to celebrate and letting friends and family members know about it can be a way of convincing those still reluctant to get jabbed. Rather than showing off your vaccination card on social media, the FTC recommends that you use a photo of the plaster with the colorful design on your arm or of you jumping inside the vaccination center.

Others do a group photo or show the “V” sign for vaccine or victory or peace, or do a thumbs up. Do your own pose, just don’t show potential scammers your card.

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