Oversharing in the Age of COVID-19

Posted in: Resources » Cyber Heads-up

To say that selfies have been popular for the last two decades would be an understatement. Everyone from celebrities to grandparents have been posting pictures online.  In the Age of Covid, the posting of your Covid-19 vaccine record is just the latest selfie phenomenon. However, this trend is not without its dangers.

You may be very excited to share the fact you got your inoculation with the world. From a psychological point of view, it may seem like a great way to encourage others to do the same. However, from a cybersecurity standpoint, it is not a very good idea.

The Better Business Bureau recently warned about the dangers of posting your vaccination card on social media.

Why shouldn’t I share my Covid-19 vaccine record online?

The Covid-19 vaccine record card contains, your full name and date of birth, as well as details about where you got the vaccine and what you received. It can also have your patient number, medical record number or your IIS (Immunization Information System) record number. This Personally Identifiable Information (PII) on the card can make you vulnerable to identity theft.

In addition to the identity theft threat, there have been cases of bad actors selling counterfeit Covid-19 vaccine record cards online in the UK and EU. It is only a matter of time, before that begins happening in the US, if it has not already. As the world begins to reopen, evidence of having been vaccinated will become more and more important. Already, airlines like Qantas, are saying that they will only allow travelers that can provide documentation that have had the vaccine.

What can I do instead?

You can share a selfie with your “I got my vaccine” sticker, which does not have any Personally Identifiable Information (PII). The “I Voted” selfie that became very popular in the 2020 election, proved that we could post those socially encouraging photos without endangering our personal information.

For those of you that are on Facebook, you can set a frame around your profile picture declaring “I got my Covid-19 Vaccine.”

From all of us at Assura, we encourage you to practice safe social media and keep your identity and information safe from bad actors. We find that the more people know how to take care of their personal information, the more likely they are to make good data security decisions in any computing environment.