After a brutal 2020 marked by unfathomable loss of life, political upheaval and a historically antisocial lifestyle for most human beings, 2021 brought with it the promise of multiple effective vaccines that have switched on a light at the end of the tunnel.
The vaccination effort—one of the most difficult logistical undertakings in modern history—will, of course, not happen over night. In the US, here at the beginning of April, the CDC reports over 97 million people, or 29% of the national population have received at least their first dose.
We have a long way to go, and cases continue to rise alongside the hopeful vaccination rollout, but it's hard to ignore a palpable excitement in the air as people, one by one, sit down for their first jab.
Not surprisingly, that excitement has reared its head on social media. Selfies with vaccination cards clearly visible have dotted Facebook, TikTok and Instagram accounts left and right.
But a recent online video published by CNBC has pumped the breaks on the popular decision to post that card for all to see.
"Those cards contain personal information like your full name and date of birth. Experts warn that posting to social media can leave us vulnerable to identity theft and scams."
"Scammers can use your date of birth to figure out your social security number. And with that information they can create phony vaccination cards to sell, open up credit in your name, even collect your tax refund."
The speaker in the video then advised a modified approach.
"If you insist on sharing, black out that personal information. Or, better yet, leave that card out entirely."
"The Better Business Bureau and the Federal Trade Commission both recommend sharing your vaccination sticker instead."
Here's why you shouldn't post a picture of your vaccine card on social media. https://t.co/Z9lKXZcoCo— CNBC Make It (@CNBC Make It)1617118986.0
Many who saw the video were already annoyed by the trend of posting the card online for other reasons besides identity theft.
@CNBCMakeIt Why are people even posting them 😂 I got mine. Never thought to post it. Are people that desperate for… https://t.co/DQHuxAopMt— Wheels 🏁 (@Wheels 🏁)1617125554.0
@ARaispeaks @CNBCMakeIt @TiffanyDCross @ARene6707 Unfortunately, we are living in the age of "it didn't happen if you can't tweet it!"— Truthfighter_13 (@Truthfighter_13)1617189561.0
@toribonafield @CNBCMakeIt Common sense is almost extinct. 😥— Nick Travaline (@Nick Travaline)1617204161.0
@CNBCMakeIt Are people really that dumb?😳— 🌷PeacefulEasyFeeling (@🌷PeacefulEasyFeeling)1617196202.0
Others were up in arms about another key detail from the video.
@CNBCMakeIt i didnt get a sticker wtf 😡— straight for lil nas (@straight for lil nas)1617125288.0
@CNBCMakeIt y'all are getting stickers 😐— a (@a)1617125358.0
@CNBCMakeIt But my place doesn't give out stickers! 😊 Ha. Ha. Seriously, tho. Don't share an image of your card. DO… https://t.co/Oita39JpBL— Kim Possible 📚 (@Kim Possible 📚)1617127049.0
Some wondered if this problematic sharing has been happening for quite awhile already.
@zeethescientist @CNBCMakeIt Would love to hear about any identity theft you encounter in your future 🤣— #BooRadley (@#BooRadley)1617129662.0
@CNBCMakeIt The identity theft hackers reading some of these comments right now...yall have made it so easy to be m… https://t.co/kKjTOVcUYL— UV(🦂Her Violetness😈) (@UV(🦂Her Violetness😈))1617160287.0
Alas, it's ultimately up to you what you do with your vaccination card and your social media account. But do take a second before posting and think about what may come of that choice.