Millions of Americans have gotten their coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccination, and to celebrate, they’re posting pictures of their vaccination cards on social media. That’s not a good idea, warns the Better Business Bureau (BBB).
“The self-identifying information on it makes you vulnerable to identity theft and can help scammers create phony versions,” the organization said in a release.
The card showing that you have received the first dose of the vaccine displays your full name and date of birth. That’s not information you want just anyone to have. It gives criminals a head start on creating an identity that is parallel to yours.
And sharing personal information isn’t the only danger. Scammers are already producing counterfeit vaccination cards to sell on eBay and TikTok. In fact, authorities in the U.K. have already made some arrests.
While you might want to avoid posting a full picture of your vaccination card, that doesn’t mean you can’t celebrate your inoculation with your friends; you just need to do it safely. Here’s how:
Post a picture of your vaccine sticker or use a profile frame.
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.
Online quizzes can be dangerous too
While we’re on the subject of sharing too much information, avoid answering risky social media surveys and 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.
According to the BBB, some of these quizzes circulating on Facebook are actually put together by scammers who are fishing for personal information.
If you see questions like “What is your mother's maiden name?” or “What is the name of the street you grew up on?” then there’s likely a sinister motive behind those queries.
Those just happen to be common security questions for banking and credit card accounts. The BBB says sharing this information can lead to your accounts being hacked and your personal and financial information being stolen.