As Americans wait to get vaccinated, a majority have stressed serious concerns about the security of their personal data related to the COVID-19 vaccination process, as well as access to travel destinations, public businesses and even their own place of employment. This is according to the 2021 Vaccines and Privacy Study of 1,000 American adults from NordVPN which found 69% have fears COVID-19 vaccination databases will get hacked.
Hacks and Health Records
When asked what concerns them most should COVID-19 vaccination databases be accessed by hackers, 32.9% fear their record of being vaccinated could be stolen and used by someone else, 21.5% are afraid their record of being vaccinated could be lost and 14.6% worry their alert for receiving a second vaccine dose may not come through (31.0% were not concerned).
When it comes to how concerned they are about COVID-19 vaccine databases getting hacked, and exposing their personal vaccine information, 74.9% have concerns with half of those being very concerned. That concern decreases the most from the overall average for retirees aged 65 and older (65.2%)
Additionally, 81.4% of Americans have concerns that their personal health information collected by healthcare organizations may be accessed by hackers. That concern decreases the most from the overall average for Gen Z aged 18-24 (71.1%).
Travel and Leisure
Overall, 68.9% of Americans have concerns about not being able to travel (via air, bus or train) if they haven’t been vaccinated for COVID-19, and 38.8% are very concerned. Unease about traveling unvaccinated from males (71.5%) was higher than females (65.7%) while the same concern by age groups went as follows:
- 74.1% for those aged 25-44
- 71.6% for those aged 18-24
- 65.2% for those aged 45-64
- 57.6% of those aged 65+
When it comes to accessing public places without having been vaccinated for COVID-19, 76.7% of Americans have concerns, and 38.4% are very concerned. This anxiety about being unvaccinated and shunned from public places is the same for both males and females (77%) while concern by age groups went as follows:
- 81.0% for those aged 25-44
- 79.5% for those aged 45-64
- 68.9% for those aged 18-24
- 67.5% of those aged 65+
Almost half of Americans (47.8%) have concerns about their privacy related to employers using fever screening technology once they return to work, as many employers have started, or may soon start screening. Those that have been working from home during the pandemic are 60% more concerned about privacy issues with fever screening than those that have not been working from home.
“The coronavirus pandemic has created the ideal environment for bad actors to prey on people’s fears and vulnerabilities during this period of uncertainty,” stated Daniel Markuson, digital privacy expert at NordVPN. “With vaccine data in their hands Vaccine fraudsters will take hold of every channel available, including email, automated voice messages, texts, ad banners, social media, direct mail, robo calls, to get in touch and try to capitalize on it. So people need to take every security step they can to protect their health information, including using a VPN for all health communications.”