Increasing Cybercrime Since the Pandemic: Concerns for Psychiatry.
Monteith S., Bauer M., Alda M., Geddes J., Whybrow PC., Glenn T.
PURPOSE OF REVIEW: Since the pandemic, the daily activities of many people occur at home. People connect to the Internet for work, school, shopping, entertainment, and doctor visits, including psychiatrists. Concurrently, cybercrime has surged worldwide. This narrative review examines the changing use of technology, societal impacts of the pandemic, how cybercrime is evolving, individual vulnerabilities to cybercrime, and special concerns for those with mental illness. RECENT FINDINGS: Human factors are a central component of cybersecurity as individual behaviors, personality traits, online activities, and attitudes to technology impact vulnerability. Mental illness may increase vulnerability to cybercrime. The risks of cybercrime should be recognized as victims experience long-term psychological and financial consequences. Patients with mental illness may not be aware of the dangers of cybercrime, of risky online behaviors, or the measures to mitigate risk. Technology provides powerful tools for psychiatry but technology must be used with the appropriate safety measures. Psychiatrists should be aware of the potential aftermath of cybercrime on mental health, and the increased patient risk since the pandemic, including from online mental health services. As a first step to increase patient awareness of cybercrime, psychiatrists should provide a recommended list of trusted sources that educate consumers on cybersecurity.