Mental Health Awareness Week: How Does Cybercrime Affect Victims’ Mental Wellbeing?

This week is Mental Health Awareness Week (9-15 May), which was founded by the Mental Health Foundation 21 years ago. With a large percentage of our time now spent online, the Internet has a massive impact on our mental wellbeing. As a result, falling victim to cybercrime or online scams can be an incredibly distressing experience.

According to the Open University: “while the negative impact of online fraud on the victims might appear to be solely financial, a study by Button et al. (2014) found that in addition to financial hardship, some victims might experience negative effects on their mental health, physical health and personal relationships.

The literature has identified the following consequences on cyber-victimisation:

  • Social withdrawal/anxiety
  • Depression
  • PTSD
  • Obsessive behaviours
  • Loss of confidence
  • Reduction in self-esteem.”

Experts Comments

May 10, 2022
Jake Moore
Cybersecurity Specialist
ESET

Falling victim to a cyberattack can leave those targeted often feel extremely vulnerable, and it can immediately affect their mental health. Many victims can often feel stupid for falling for such attacks, but it is only after the event that the scams become obvious and this can cause anguish. This can have a huge impact on someone’s life and it is apparent that more is needed to help protect people and to teach them the signs to look out for in amongst the ever changing, fast-paced world of

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Falling victim to a cyberattack can leave those targeted often feel extremely vulnerable, and it can immediately affect their mental health. Many victims can often feel stupid for falling for such attacks, but it is only after the event that the scams become obvious and this can cause anguish. This can have a huge impact on someone’s life and it is apparent that more is needed to help protect people and to teach them the signs to look out for in amongst the ever changing, fast-paced world of digital crime.

We mustn’t ever stigmatise a victim but instead offer support and reminders about how to stay safer online. Quick easy wins such as the implementation of two-factor authentication and a password manager are the first simple steps to better protection online and a better online well-being.

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