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UK workers feel more vulnerable to cybercrime since the outbreak of Covid-19

(Image credit: Image source: Shutterstock/Bloomicon)

A fifth of workers in the UK feel more vulnerable to cybercrime (opens in new tab) since Covid-19 broke out, a new report from PwC claims.

Of the 1,200 individuals polled for the report, some said they felt more vulnerable because of increased stress and pressure at work, while others blamed the need to work in isolation.

Daisy McCartney, Cyber Security Culture and Behavior Lead at PwC, said that as long as Covid-19 is in the news, hackers will look to take advantage. Messages relating to vaccines, cures and financial relief will likely continue to be used to target people, she added.

But it’s not just that the workers are feeling more vulnerable – they’ve also noticed more criminal activity since the lockdown began (opens in new tab). A third said they had spotted in increase in the number of malicious or suspicious emails, adverts and links, while a quarter (22 percent) feel more vulnerable for needing to share contact information when they go to a restaurant or other hospitality venue.

Adding salt to the wound is the fact that a fifth of the UK’s workforce doesn’t feel educated, trained or equipped to tackle cybersecurity issues that may arise. McCartney, however, says that people shouldn’t feel helpless as there are “simple steps” that can be taken to stay safe.

“Employers also have a responsibility to equip their staff with the knowledge and skills they need during this difficult time," she said.

"With many people not being physically located with their teams, while working from home, it is especially important for IT and cyber security teams to make security easy for staff, embed it in the ways they work, and provide them with as much support as they can.”

Sead Fadilpašić is a freelance tech writer and journalist with more than 17 years experience writing technology-focussed news, blogs, whitepapers, reviews, and ebooks. And his work has featured in online media outlets from all over the world, including Al Jazeera Balkans (where he was a Multimedia Journalist), Crypto News, TechRadar Pro, and IT Pro Portal, where he has written news and features for over five years. Sead's experience also includes writing for inbound marketing, where he creates technology-based content for clients from London to Singapore. Sead is a HubSpot-certified content creator.