Congratulations on getting vaccinated, but please refrain from posting your vaccination card especially the side or part that contains your personal data on your social media accounts. Iloilo City and Iloilo Province, with the whole country, is exerting their maximum effort to achieve the herd immunity, posting your card online can possibly expose yourself to cybercriminals.
In an article by Rappler, Joseph Felix Pacamarra, co-founder and chief executive officer of the computer emergency response team Cybersecurity Philippines CERT, shared that vaccinated people should not dismiss the risks because their data can be used and resold in many ways and forms.
For example in Iloilo City, the details contained in the card are the name, barangay, date of birth, the healthcare worker who administered the vaccine and their signatures, QR code, which can be scanned to reveal one’s medical history (but Iloilo City’s QR code is not readable).
Pacamarra said that criminals can resell people’s identities or create a fake vaccination card based on what was posted.
Vaccination cards play a very important role right now. It has become an essential requirement to mobility and access to some places – the Iloilo City Hall entry for example in first week of August 2021.
Posting of Vaccination Card is More Than Just a Social Media “Flex”
People who believes that vaccines work are excited to show the world that they are already done. More than just flexing, it could be their way to “encourage” their social media friends and followers who are hesitant to get vaccinated. But since posting the details contained in the vaccination card could be an opening for identity theft to occur, here are some of the alternative photos you can post instead:
- your vaccinated arm;
- photo from photobooth venue; or
- your selfie while having your vaccine.
Is It Okay to Blur the Details in the Vaccination Card to Post It?
No. There are tools that can restore the original photo before blurring the details and it can still reveal the unblurred version. It is still not totally safe from cybercriminals if you will post a blurred photo of your vaccination card.
When Is It Okay to Show the Vaccination Card?
There some instances that vaccination card serves as proof. Here are some of the examples:
- to your employer when you filed for leave on your vaccination schedule;
- to establishments where discounts are offered to vaccinated people;
- as your travel requirement; and
- to offices and places requiring the entrance only of vaccinated people for regulation.
In Iloilo City alone, 25% of the population is already vaccinated. That is more or less 125, 000 Ilonggos.
The Local Government Unit aims to vaccinate 85% of the total population. The Department of Health aims to achieve nationwide population protection or having 50% to 60% of residents in an area fully vaccinated, by the end of the year.
As we protect ourselves and our family from the spread of COVID-19 through opting for vaccination, let us also protect our data from cybercriminals through refraining from posting our details online. (With reports from Rappler.com)