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How to stay positive despite the increased risk

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At Hayes Connor Solicitors, we think it's imperative that everyone is super vigilant to protect against data breaches and cybercrime during the coronavirus pandemic. In particular, our expert data breach solicitors believe that personal information is at risk in four different ways - coronavirus scams, new and untested apps, human error and homeworking.

1.An increase in phishing emails and coronavirus scams

We have warned people to be on their guard in case of coronavirus scams and phishing messages. This is vital as, according to Action Fraud, coronavirus scams have cost victims over £800k in just one month. Find out more about how to protect yourself from coronavirus scams.

2. An increase in coronavirus apps

A number of Covid-19 apps have been launched to help ease and manage the ongoing situation. But caution should be taken in relation to how personal information such as gender, age, medical information and location will be stored, processed and shared. At a time of crisis, new tech will be introduced quickly and will likely be adopted rapidly. But it is possible that many of the standard security checks won't be as stringent as usual.

3. An increase in human error

While people are right to be concerned about coronavirus scams, human error is the greatest cause of data breaches at the best of times, so it is to be expected that such instances might increase when people are worried and confused. But, while stress and nervousness might explain why someone might make an error, there is no excuse for organisations that do not have robust data security processes in place to prevent such breaches from happening in the first place.

4. An increase in data breaches due to homeworking

As businesses navigate the unprecedented coronavirus crisis and respond by increasing home and remote working, careful consideration around data security is paramount. Technology facilitates the ease with which many organisations can adapt to employees working remotely however, being mindful of potential data protection risks, and quickly implementing appropriate security measures, should be front of mind.

How to stay positive despite the increased risk of coronavirus scams and other threats

Data protection might remain a key priority for the Hayes Connor team, but we are all human. And just like everyone else, we are worried about protecting our own wellbeing, and that of our families and clients. To help with this, we'd like to share some insights from Professor Hugh C. H. Koch - visiting professor in law and psychology at Birmingham City University School of Law.

In his regular blog, Professor Koch tells us that, while we are being asked by those in charge to remain positive, "At a time when it is likely that the peak in infection has not yet been reached, and the full economic and health deficits have not as yet materialised, this is a very difficult 'ask'.

However, he does believe that there are some ways we can start to bounce back from adversity before more 'green shoots' appear. These include:

  • Being able to acknowledge and share our helplessness and hopelessness
  • Predicting a time when this will be over
  • Visualising what will be required to make your own particular circumstances better
  • Talking about what's best with each other to ensure we emerge from this in a more collaborative and interconnected way.

You can find out more on the above, with some additional advice from Professor Koch on how to become more virus-resilient during the COVID-19 coronavirus situation here.

*Read our coronavirus statement to find out more about how we are continuing to serve our clients during the COVID-19 outbreak.