Stop sharing your vaccination card photos or face identity theft

May 6, 2021

Dunja Djudjic

Dunja Djudjic is a multi-talented artist based in Novi Sad, Serbia. With 15 years of experience as a photographer, she specializes in capturing the beauty of nature, travel, and fine art. In addition to her photography, Dunja also expresses her creativity through writing, embroidery, and jewelry making.

Stop sharing your vaccination card photos or face identity theft

May 6, 2021

Dunja Djudjic

Dunja Djudjic is a multi-talented artist based in Novi Sad, Serbia. With 15 years of experience as a photographer, she specializes in capturing the beauty of nature, travel, and fine art. In addition to her photography, Dunja also expresses her creativity through writing, embroidery, and jewelry making.

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When they’re super-excited about something, many people post about it on social media. So naturally, people have been sharing the news about their COVID-19 shots. They post selfies taken during the vaccination itself, but many of them also post photos of their vaccination cards to share the good news. But there’s more than good news you might be sharing with the world, experts warn. If you share photos of your vaccination card, you risk having your identity stolen.

Senior Global Threat Communications Manager at Avast, Christopher Budd says:

“Publishing pictures of your vaccination certificate can seem like a way to celebrate a major milestone in getting closer to the end of the difficult experiences of the past year in the pandemic. It can also seem like a good way to encourage others who might be ‘vaccine negative’ or undecided. But taking a picture of your actual card and posting it isn’t the best way to accomplish these things and can increase your risks around identity theft.”

Your vaccination card contains information that could be more than enough for scammers to steal your identity. In the US, the Covid-19 vaccination card contains your full name, date of birth, Covid-19 vaccine maker and lot number, date of vaccination, and the healthcare professional or clinic site that administered it, writes Avast. The same goes for Serbia, and I think it’s safe to assume that this data is shown on vaccination cards in other cards, too.

Budd warns that your full name and birthday alone could be enough for someone to commit identity theft against you. And if they can access your other personal information, it can only get worse. “Additionally, the specific information about the vaccine, vaccination date, and who administered it could enable someone to try and gain access to personal health information by posing as you can [call] ‘to check’ on something,” Budd adds.

We often forget how easily accessible our private data can become. It’s all fin and games until there’s a major security breach and your personal information gets exposed. No one’s immune: data breaches happened to major companies like Adobe, 500px, EyeEm, Google, and Facebook (more than once). Oh, and let’s not forget Yahoo which had several major data breaches.

Although even big companies are subject to data breaches, at least we as individuals don’t have to make it easier for scammers to access our data. Researches in Japan warn that even flashing the “peace” sign could lead to identity theft. And if it’s not your identity that gets stolen, something else might if you post it to social media. So, if you want to celebrate your COVID-19 shot with a photo, I suggest you take a photo of your vaccination sticker, yourself (if you must), the band-aid… Or just snap a few photos at the vaccination site. That’s also a good way to kill time while waiting your turn, so I’d say it’s the best option of all.

Novi Sad Fair, the vaccination site in Novi Sad, Serbia

[via Avast]

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Dunja Djudjic

Dunja Djudjic

Dunja Djudjic is a multi-talented artist based in Novi Sad, Serbia. With 15 years of experience as a photographer, she specializes in capturing the beauty of nature, travel, and fine art. In addition to her photography, Dunja also expresses her creativity through writing, embroidery, and jewelry making.

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3 responses to “Stop sharing your vaccination card photos or face identity theft”

  1. Amanda Rain Avatar
    Amanda Rain

    can’t fix stupidity

  2. Jolyon Ralph Avatar
    Jolyon Ralph

    If you can impersonate someone else simply by having a full name and date of birth then the problem is with the system that allows that to happen not with the sharing. There are many ways to get hold of names/dates of birth.

    I suspect this is mostly scaremongering.

    1. Jolyon Ralph Avatar
      Jolyon Ralph

      The info could be used for social engineering attacks on the person involved of course.