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Information Resources Management Association
Advancing the Concepts & Practices of Information Resources Management in Modern Organizations

Cyberchondria, Coronavirus, and Cybercrime: A Perfect Storm

Cyberchondria, Coronavirus, and Cybercrime: A Perfect Storm
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Author(s): Mary Aiken (University of East London, UK), Ruby Farr (University of East London, UK) and Doug Witschi (Interpol, Singapore)
Copyright: 2022
Pages: 19
Source title: Handbook of Research on Cyberchondria, Health Literacy, and the Role of Media in Society’s Perception of Medical Information
Source Author(s)/Editor(s): Hacer Aker (Selcuk University, Turkey) and Mary Aiken (University of East London, UK)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-8630-3.ch002


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Humans are adapting to and increasingly relying on technology particularly in times of global crisis. As online audiences increase, so does the risk of cybercrime. The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic is discussed in the context of health anxiety, the infodemic and cyberchondria, along with cybercriminal exploitation of pandemic-induced human anxiety and psychological vulnerability. Health anxiety, uncertainty, social isolation, changes to work-life practices, information seeking, mistrust of public health organisations, and the spread of false information all arguably intersect – leading to a global state of human vulnerability and therefore presenting opportunities for cybercriminals. There is a requirement for global agencies such as the United Nations, the WHO, INTERPOL, and governments to take action. Police agencies worldwide need to extrapolate learnings regarding the current pandemic and attendant increase in cybercrime and based on those findings move to form a global coalition with industry partners to investigate, predict, and prevent a potential future cybercrime pandemic.

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