After almost a full year of wearing masks and adhering to social distancing guidelines, COVID-19 vaccinations are finally being rolled out across the United States. While you may be excited to share your vaccine status with all your friends and family on social media, here are some reasons to be careful of what information you're sharing online.
Sharing sensitive personal information could put you at risk of identity theft.
When it comes to posting on social media in general, a great rule of thumb is to avoid posting anything with sensitive personal information. This could mean your full name, date of birth, social security number, home address, medical records, place of work, or even something as seemingly harmless as your child’s birthdate. People intending to commit identity theft often use social media to collect all different types of information about people and use combinations of this information to log into your accounts jeopardize your identity.
Now you may be wondering, “what information is so sensitive on my COVID-19 vaccination card that may put me at risk of scams or identity theft?” Well, excellent question! Most vaccination cards will display your full name, your date of birth, and where/ when you got vaccinated. Although each of these pieces of information are not particularly dangerous to display on their own, when used together there is a potential risk of identity theft.
Your ability to receive a subsequent dose may be interfered with.
Many COVID-19 vaccines require a few week latency period between doses and by posting your vaccination card online you may even interfere with your ability to get the second dose. With many people having a vested interest in getting this vaccine, hackers and scammers may use your sensitive information to make fake vaccine cards or otherwise interfere with the vaccination process. It may be wise to hold off on posting until your vaccination is complete.
You could lose HIPAA protection.
HIPAA or the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act is a law that is designed to protect medical patients and their sensitive information from being shared or disclosed without their knowledge. By posting your COVID-19 vaccination card you may be voiding or compromising your HIPAA protections. Losing HIPAA protections, in addition to sharing sensitive personal information, puts you at even higher risk of your medical portals being hacked or medical identity theft.
With so many dark clouds over us this past year, it makes sense to want to share some rays of sunshine and hope via social media, but it’s still incredibly important to continue to protect yourself and your family. We hope that with these few potential dangers in mind you will make informed choices on what you share online.
Want your COVID-19 immunization record secured conveniently on your phone instead of on a paper card? Download OneRecord to have your vaccine data - along with all your medical records - ready whenever you may need them.