I’ve developed a thorn in my side that I need to excise. I’ve seen far too many warnings from major news media outlets warning us about sharing our vaccine card selfies on social media -- namely Facebook and Twitter. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has this to say about it:
“Your vaccination card has information on it including your full name, date of birth, where you got your vaccine, and the dates you got it. When you post it to Facebook, Instagram, or to some other social media platform, you may be handing valuable information over to someone who could use it for identity theft.”
Oh c’mon! Everyone on social media shares their name, obviously, and most of us share our birthdate. That’s how we know to send birthday wishes to each other every time the Earth completes a rotation about the sun. That said, a scammer possessing our birthdate doesn’t provide a key to your identity but might give them more info than they deserve. So maybe do what everyone else does and cover your birth date with your finger when you take a selfie. Done.
Another argument against posting your vaccine card is that you could give scammers and anti-vaxxers a template for making a fake card that they can then use to “prove” their vaccination status should mandatory vaccines ever become a thing (which is quite unlikely). That’s also bunk. It took me under 5 seconds to Google a blank template of the official CDC vaccine card that I could print.
They also warn that your vaccine card might give scammers a hint of where you live. Well duh. If a scammer got my vaccine card, they’d discover that I was vaccinated in Lauderdale County. That’s it. I’ll even help you out scammers: I live in Florence, Alabama. If you have access to the internet, you can also look up my home address. Come at me, scammahs.
Another argument is that a scammer might see your card, look you up, and contact you pretending to be a healthcare worker and try to trick you into paying for your second dose, and request your credit card information. Okay, I hope none of my readers would ever fall for that silliness but I’ll never say that couldn’t happen. So, hey, don’t do that. In case you don’t know, the vaccines are 100% free even if you don’t have insurance.
Identity theft is real and we do need to be careful about sharing critical information with scammers but let’s not get silly about it. Please feel free to celebrate your joy at being vaccinated any way you wish. Encourage your friends to do the same. We are rapidly approaching a joyous time in history, so don’t let the tin foil hatters pee on your party!
Jim Fisher owns Excel Computer Services in Florence. Reach him at www.ExcelAL.com